Do I need an ESTA or a visa for America?
Travelers with Dutch and Belgian nationality do not need a visa for the United States of America for stays of less than 90 days. However, travelers without a visa do need a valid ESTA. An ESTA is easier and cheaper to apply for than a visa. Before applying, please check whether you meet the conditions of the ESTA.
Travelers who hold a valid visa for the United States of America do not need to apply for an ESTA.
You must apply for a visa for the United States of America if:
- You want to stay in the United States for more than 90 days at a time.
- You want to travel to the United States other than for business or tourist purposes.
- You want to travel with your own ship or private plane
- You want to work / join an American Employer.
- You are not admitted because of the “Immigration and Nationality Act (212)”
What is an ESTA visa?
An ESTA is mandatory for everyone. Also children and babies. Even when transferring in America, you must have an ESTA. You are therefore not allowed to enter America without a valid travel permit. It is not possible to obtain it upon arrival. You can request the ESTA from Traveldocs by filling in a document and sending it to us together with a scan of your passport and passport photo. You will receive your ESTA within 72 hours.
The ESTA was introduced in response to 9/11, replacing the green I-94W form previously used on board the aircraft. The ESTA is part of the “Visa Wave Program” and stands for “Electronic System for Travel Authorization”.
An ESTA is not an e-visa or a regular visa but a digital permission to enter the United States of America, other names are also: ESTA America, ESTA United States, ESTA US, ESTA USA.
Am I eligible for an ESTA visa?
To be eligible for an ESTA you must:
- Have a valid passport with Dutch or Belgian nationality.
- Travel in the United States for a maximum of 90 days for tourism, business or transit purposes.
- Do not end your trip in contiguous territory or adjacent islands (unless you are a resident of one of these areas). Any stay in one of these areas is included in the maximum stay of 90 days.
- Are in possession of a return or onward flight ticket to a country outside the United States upon your arrival in the United States to demonstrate to the Immigration Service that you are leaving the country.
Entering the United States with an airline affiliated with the Visa Waiver Program.
- To the Inspecting officer of the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service) can demonstrate that you are entitled to be admitted under the Visa Waiver Program and that you are not inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Waive of any rights to review or appeal the admission decision of the U.S. officer. Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service) or challenging, other than on the basis of an asylum application, an eviction procedure arising from an application for admission under the “Visa Waiver Program”.
- By relinquishing Biometric Data (photos and fingerprints) during processing upon your arrival in the United States, you waive any rights to revise or appeal the admission decision of the U.S. officer. Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service) or challenging, other than on the basis of an asylum application, an eviction procedure arising from an application for admission under the “Visa Waiver Program”.
- Has met all conditions of any previous admission under the “Visa Waiver Program”.
- Does not pose a threat to the health, well-being, security or safety of the United States of America
How and when do I get an ESTA?
Some approvals may take longer (typically no more than a few hours) to complete due to all requests being processed by U.S. computerized computer systems. Customs and Border Protection. The majority of applications are immediately approved, but in some cases the computer system decides that an application must be assessed by an immigration officer. In such a case, the duration of the award depends on the amount of work at the immigration service at that time. We at Traveldocs.n have no influence on the duration of ESTA processing time after it is pending with the U.S. Costoms and Border Protection.
First check your junk mail folder if you have applied for an ESTA and think you have not received it. You can also view the status of your application online 24/7.
If you are in a hurry you can also apply for the ESTA urgently. You can do this by ticking the option “urgent” on the application form to be completed online, these applications will be processed faster. The surcharge for this procedure is € 17,50.
What should I do when I am not eligible for an ESTA?
Traveldocs can do the preparatory work for you and schedule an appointment for you. If you want to know what to do and what options there are, please contact us.
How long is an ESTA valid?
Note: Although the ESTA Travel Authorization is valid for 2 years, the traveler may not stay in the United States for 2 consecutive years. After all, an important condition of the ESTA travel authorization is that, per stay, you do not stay in the United States for longer than a maximum of 90 consecutive days. In view of the long validity period, it is recommended to submit the application for the ESTA well before the trip.
Rarely, the ESTA travel authorization is not granted the same day as the application (this may take up to 72 hours if a manual sample is performed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer).
Can I travel multiple times on one ESTA?
It is then important that you keep your ESTA well and travel with the passport with which the ESTA was obtained. Do you now have a new passport? Then the associated ESTA is no longer valid and you must submit a new application and pay again.
I already have a (valid) ESTA, should I get a new one?
For whom is the ESTA intended?
Also, a child (with or without guidance) must have their own ESTA to travel in the United States. Please note, it is not possible to apply for an ESTA for children that is credited in the passport of one of the parents. So every child needs his / her own passport and ESTA to travel in the United States. It is of course possible for parents to apply for ESTA for their child.
Before applying, please check whether you meet the conditions of the ESTA.
I only have a transit in the USA. Do I still need an ESTA?
On our ESTA visa page you can read more about the ESTA and transit rules.
Do children need their own ESTA visa?
Before applying, please check whether you meet the conditions of the ESTA.
Application related questions
Why must I provide information about my employer?
This information is required to demonstrate that you do not intend to work permanently in the United States or plan to emigrate. If you do not have an employer, this does not mean that this will cause problems with your application for an ESTA, since other aspects will also be considered during the assessment.
Do not enter your current profession in the relevant field, but whether you have an employer and who is that.
How do I apply for an ESTA?
An ESTA can only be applied for online. To apply for an ESTA, simply fill out our online application form on this website. After filling in you will be redirected to our payment page from where you can pay quickly and easily with iDeal, Paypal, Bancontact or Credit card.
As soon as the payment has been made, we will process your request. You will always receive, within 72 hours (also check your junk mail folder), an email stating whether your ESTA has been approved or rejected.
Is it possible to have an urgent procedure?
If you urgently need an ESTA, you only need to tick the option “urgent” on the online application form. If you submit this urgent application, it will be processed immediately and you will usually be granted with the ESTA within an hour. Please note: this is an average delivery time and no warranty can be given here, in exceptional cases an urgent application can only be made after 72 give an hourly answer.
When can I apply for an ESTA?
Because the application goes through our online application form, you can request an ESTA from us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We recommend that you apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure. Despite 90% of all applications being granted within the hour, it is possible that a manual check by a U.S. employee may result. Costums and Border Protection a delay of up to 72 hours occurs.
Can I apply for an ESTA for someone else?
Yes, you can fill in all fellow travelers in one application. You can also apply for an ESTA for another person in the event that you are not traveling yourself. Obviously, you must then have permission to use all data and documents required for applying for an ESTA from the relevant traveler (s).
I do not have a place to stay yet. Can I still apply for an ESTA?
Yes, you can still apply for an ESTA even if you have not yet registered a contact, emergency contact or residence in the United States. Please note that the possibility of a manual review of the application by a U.S. official. Customs and Border Protection (Immigration Service) is greater if not all data are filled in, with the result that the application can take a few extra hours.
In case you do not have an emergency contact yet, enter “Unknown” and enter the telephone number of the emergency contact “000000000”
The U.S. Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service) recommends that you submit an ESTA application even if you do not already have the information listed above, even with a possible manual check and approval by a U.S. official. Costum and Border will separate this within 72 hours.
Submitting an application for an ESTA as early as possible has the effect that if an ESTA application is rejected, there is still sufficient time to apply for a regular visa.
I don't know my travel plan yet. Can I still apply?
You can also apply for an ESTA if you do not yet have a specific travel plan. However, the travel purpose must be tourist, business or transfer. It is therefore not mandatory to submit more specific travel plans than the above mentioned with the application.
On the ESTA application form an expected arrival date is requested, this can be estimated, if the actual date differs far from it, that is not a problem.
I have a new passport. Do I need a new ESTA?
Yes, if you have received a new passport after an ESTA has been granted, you must apply for an ESTA again. All data on the ESTA must correspond with the data of your current passport, including the passport number (your old passport in combination with any previously linked ESTA is no longer valid).
The U.S. Unfortunately, Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service) does not give back money if an ESTA is not used, even for a new ESTA application in case of a new passport.
When should I obtain a new ESTA?
You must apply for a new ESTA in the following situations:
– All your current ESTA has expired and you want to travel to the United States again.
– If, after you have applied for your ESTA, you have received a new passport, these are linked (by means of the passport number). Even if the passport expires in the United States before the end of your trip, you will need to apply for a new passport and a new ESTA. Please note that your passport is valid until at least the end of your trip in the United States.
– If you have changed your Nationality, name or gender.
– If you answered the security background questions on the ESTA application form with “Yes” and would now answer “no” after changing the circumstances.
Ps, If it is necessary to make changes to your ESTA, check out how this works.
I am a status holder. Can I get an ESTA?
Status holders residing in the Netherlands who are in possession of a residence permit cannot apply for ESTA. A traveler may only apply for an ESTA with an officially issued Dutch passport.
If you are a status holder with a residence permit but no Dutch passport, it is only possible to travel to the United States with a regular visa.
Do I need an ESTA for a cruise trip?
Yes, any traveler arriving in the United States by water / sea or air must pre-apply for an ESTA. Checks are already carried out when checking in on the flight or boarding the boat. You do not need to apply for ESTA only if you enter the United States by land (via Mexico or Canada).
When should I apply for a regular visa?
If you wish to stay in the United States for more than 90 days or travel for a purpose other than tourist or business, it is imperative to apply for a regular Visa and not an ESTA.
It is not necessary to apply for an ESTA if you:
-Already have the American nationality, a valid American residence permit or a visa for the United States.
-If you are traveling into the United States by land (via Mexico or Canada), you do not need to apply for an ESTA, but you will need to complete an I-94W form when crossing the relevant border.
is there a letter O or a number 0 stated in my passport?
Document numbers in the Netherlands never contain the letter “O”, but they can contain the number “0”. Even though it seems that there is a letter O in your passport, it will be the number 0. It is also important to know that document numbers in the Netherlands are 9 characters long.
Belgian document numbers may include the letter (s) “O” and / or the number “0”. Belgian document numbers are 8 characters long and always start with 2 letters followed by 6 numbers.
How safe is it to request an ESTA via your website?
If you submit an application for an ESTA via our website, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is always used, with which we secure the communication of the data from your computer to our server. This way your data is protected at all times.
We will only use your data to process your visa application. In doing so, we respect the privacy of each user of our site and will ensure that all personal information you provide to us will be treated confidentially. We strongly inform you that your data will not be sold or used for any other commercial purposes. Furthermore, the payment methods that we offer such as iDEAL, Paypal, bancontact or by credit card are also safe ways to pay.
ESTA related questions
Which conditions apply to my passport?
The Visa Waiver Program, which includes the ESTA Travel Authorization Application, requires a number of things:
-Your passport must be valid throughout the stay in the United States. The ESTA travel authorization is linked to the passport with which the application was submitted, so if you use another passport, the validity of the ESTA travel authorization will immediately expire and you must submit a new application for an ESTA travel authorization with the new passport. to serve.
-On the page with the personal data, the passport must have a machine-readable zone (all Dutch and Belgian passports meet this requirement).
-The passport must also contain a digital chip containing the biometric data of the card holder. This logo can be found on the cover of the passport.
-An emergency passport must also be an electronic version, in the paper version (without E logo and chip) you will not be assigned an ESTA travel authorization.
Can I travel again to the USA on my old ESTA?
YES, provided the validity of your ESTA has not yet expired. Please note that each stay in the United States may be for a maximum of 90 consecutive days.
-In this it is also important that you check at each entry whether the passport is still valid and the same with which the ESTA was applied for. Since the passport and the ESTA are linked, you must apply for a new ESTA travel authorization if you are travelling on a new passport.
How can I renew my ESTA?
If your ESTA travel authorization has expired and you want to travel to the United States again, you will need to apply for a new ESTA. Existing ESTA travel authorizations cannot be renewed.
The ESTA should only be valid upon check-in and arrival in the United States, so applying for a new ESTA if you are already in the United States and it expires is not necessary.
You can, however, apply for a new ESTA travel authorization before your current ESTA expires. After a new ESTA travel authorization has been assigned, a previously issued ESTA travel authorization is automatically declared invalid. In this case, your new ESTA travel authorization will therefore replace the old one.
Am I allowed to work with an ESTA visa?
If you plan to join a US employer, you must apply for a visa for the United States.
How much does an ESTA cost?
For the processing of your ESTA application we charge a rate of € 29,95, which includes VAT, processing costs, transaction costs ($ 4.00), consular costs ($ 10.00), exchange rate surcharge (2.5% on average) and any assistance with your application.
If your ESTA travel authorization is unexpectedly rejected, you will receive the full amount from us within 10 working days.
If your application has urgency, you can choose to process your visa application within 1 working day. In order to process your application with urgency, you have to pay an additional € 14,50, incl. VAT. You can choose for this extra option while placing your order on our USA visa application page.
Will an ESTA guarantee entrance to the USA?
Granting and receiving an ESTA travel authorization does not guarantee that you will be granted entry into the United States. Upon your arrival, an official of the Customs and Border Protection (immigration service) may still deny entry, for example if it is suspected that admission is not desirable for political or security reasons or if there is doubt about the truth of the completed answers to the ESTA application form.
An ESTA travel authorization is therefore mandatory, but not the only condition for admission into the United States.
If your ESTA application is rejected, it is no longer possible to submit a new ESTA application with modified data. If you are denied an ESTA travel authorization, you can apply for a visa for the United States. Since rejecting an ESTA travel authorization only prohibits travel under the Visa Waiver Program, this is not a decision as to whether or not you qualify for a visa to enter the United States.
Can I apply for an ESTA with a criminal record?
It is possible for many travelers with a criminal record to apply for an ESTA travel authorization. If you have a criminal record related to a crime that has resulted in serious injury to a person, serious material or damage to a government agency, it is not possible to file an ESTA application and you must make an appointment with the U.S. Consulate apply for a visa for the United States.
Traffic violations and other fines are usually not an obstacle to the granting of an ESTA travel authorization.
If you have been in Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia or Syria after 10 March 2011
If you have been in Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia or Syria after 10 March 2011, you cannot apply for an ESTA travel authorization via our website. Even if you have or have ever had a passport from one of these countries, you are not eligible for an ESTA travel authorization. In that case, you should contact the U.S. Embassy to determine if you are allowed to travel to the United States.
If I travel to the Caribbean islands, Mexico or Canada, do I also need an ESTA?
Even if you have a stopover in the United States and are transiting to the Caribbean islands, Mexico or Canada, you must have an ESTA travel authorization to continue traveling. This also applies to any return journey, except for a land trip from Mexico or Canada, in which case an I-94W form must be completed at the border crossing.
Changing or cancelling an application
My ESTA application has been rejected. What should I do?
If your application has been rejected, do not travel without a valid travel authorization, but please contact us to inquire about the possibility of traveling to America after all. Traveldocs can assist you in obtaining a regular (valid 5 or 10 years with multiple entries) visa for America. However, there are higher costs involved.
Contact us for more information about the regular visa and its procedure.
Is it possible to change the information on my ESTA?
Until you have paid for the ESTA application, you can still change all fields in the online application form. After the ESTA application has been paid, we will immediately process it and it is only possible to change your e-mail address. Therefore, before you are taken to the payment page, you will be asked to confirm that the information is correct. Please check this carefully.
If an error was made in the application, you must submit a new application. If the information on your ESTA travel authorization does not match that on your passport, your ESTA travel agreement will not be valid. Any costs for a new application will be for your own account.
Although we at Traveldocs.nl always try to detect and solve any errors, we are under no circumstances responsible and / or liable for the data that has been incorrectly or incompletely filled in by the applicant on the application form.
It is also not possible to change or cancel the data with a rejected ESTA travel authorization.
Can I change the (travel)date on my ESTA?
It is not possible to change the effective date of your ESTA. If you plan to arrive before your ESTA is valid or to leave after the ESTA has expired, you will need to apply for a new ESTA travel authorization. It is especially important that your ESTA travel authorization is valid when you enter the United States.
I made a mistake on my application. Can I correct this?
In this case, please contact us as soon as possible to indicate what is not in order.
We can still change matters such as the email address or your residence address in America after approval. For all other matters, you must again apply for an ESTA. Small mistakes, such as not passing a middle name of one of the parents, for example, is not a problem, as long as the surname is correct. However, this does not apply to the data of the traveler. These must match the passport data. Minor errors, such as an incorrect postcode number of your current home address, can already lead to a denial of access to the country. So make sure that you supply all data to us completely error-free.
Can I cancel my ESTA application?
Cancellation is only possible before payment is completed. As soon as we have received the payment for your ESTA application, we will process it immediately and refund your payment is no longer possible from that moment.
If you made a mistake with the application, you can submit a new application. Costs for this new application are entirely at your own expense.
What can be a reason to reject my ESTA application?
Virtually all applications almost immediately result in the granting of the ESTA travel authorization for the United States. In rare cases, however, an application may be refused. The U.S. For privacy and security reasons, Customs and Border Protection gives no reason for rejecting ESTA applications.
Arrivals will certainly be refused if the traveler now or in the past:
-Not a valid passport.
-On a watchlist from the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service).
-Applied for a visa that has been rejected.
– Disagreement with the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (Immigration Service).
– Has been in the United States longer than allowed.
– Made a mistake on the application form.
-Breached another visa rule.
– Breached any other law in the United States.
– Suspected of violating the law, in or outside the United States.
-Politically not desired in the United States.
Has been in Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
-May pose a health risk.
-May pose a security risk.
-Cannot meet the conditions of ESTA.
What should I do when my ESTA is rejected?
First check whether you have correctly copied all your passport details on the ESTA application form. In the e-mail with the confirmation of your application you can see what information you have entered on the form. It only makes sense to submit a new application for the ESTA if you have incorrectly taken over the data.
If you had filled in all the details correctly, there is no point in submitting a new application, as it will be rejected immediately. The only way to still travel to the United States after an ESTA application has been refused is to apply for a physical visa. Please note that, in such a case, it may take several days to weeks before you receive this physical visa. In most cases you will have to come to the American embassy in Amsterdam yourself to answer some questions.
We also realize that this can cause major problems, however the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Immigration Service) not particularly flexible. In only a few exceptions an emergency procedure is possible, including: urgent medical treatment, the death of a family member or an important business meeting.
The U.S. For privacy and security reasons, Customs and Border Protection gives no reason for rejecting ESTA applications. If you want to know why your ESTA application has been rejected, please refer to the question above: What can an ESTA application be rejected rejected? Here are the most common reasons for rejection.
I will not use my ESTA after all. Can I get my money back?
If your ESTA application is approved, you will never receive a refund. Even if you do not use your ESTA travel authorization.
If your application is rejected for whatever reasons, it is not possible to obtain a refund.
I made a mistake on the safety question(s) about my background. Can I correct this?
It is not possible to submit an application via our website while a security question is answered with “yes”. If you have applied for an ESTA travel authorization on another website and have answered a security question with “yes”, your application will be rejected. After that it is no longer possible to submit a new application for an ESTA travel authorization with a different answer to this question, it will be rejected immediately.
Did you accidentally answer a security question with “yes” and do you want to correct it? This is possible in 2 ways. What works in almost all cases is applying for a physical visa, for which you need to make an appointment at a consulate of the United States of America. You can then explain why the question was answered incorrectly at the consulate, if the consular employee believes you will probably obtain a visa. This procedure can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. If you do not have this time, the second way to correct the error is to contact the U.S. Department of Defense by telephone. Customs and Border Protection (Immigration Service) at +12023443710, Please Note: This number is not available for other inquiries about an ESTA Travel Authorization.
Do I need to print my ESTA?
No, you are not obligated to print your ESTA Travel Authorization, once your ESTA Travel Authorization has been approved it will be automatically shared with your airline and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Immigration Service).
However we do recommend to bring a print of your ESTA digitally or on paper with you, to be sure that you will have it on you at all times.
Can I get help with my application?
Always try to find your question on this page first, in almost all cases you will find the answer to your question about your visa application here.
In the unlikely event that you find no or insufficient answer to your question, we will of course be happy to help you, click here to contact us.
How do you handle my personal data?
We will only use your data to process your visa application. In doing so, we respect the privacy of every user of our site and will ensure that all personal information you provide to us will be treated confidentially. We strongly inform you that your data will not be sold or used for any other commercial purposes.