When Should I Apply For An ESTA?
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When Should I Apply For An ESTA?

If you’re looking to apply for an ESTA visa when you are travelling to the United States, then you should make sure that you apply within plenty of time. This is to help ensure that your application is returned prior to your departure, otherwise you may find yourself stuck in your home country, unable to board your aircraft or ship, if you are without a valid visa.

Government Recommendations

The US Government Customs and Border Protection recommend applying for an ESTA 72 hours prior to your departure. This is because the ESTA application can take up to 3 days to be returned. Nevertheless, some applications can be approved within a matter of seconds depending on a number of factors. It is important to ensure that you follow the Government recommendations to protect yourself in the event of an application coming back later than expected, so you do not have any trouble when it comes to boarding your flight or cruise ship.

Our ESTA Application Recommendations

We believe that to save any trouble and instances where approval takes longer, you should make sure that you apply for an ESTA visa, as you begin to make travel plans. This is also important if you are unsure whether or not you are going to be accepted, as in the case of an application being rejected, you will have plenty of time to go through the much lengthier process of applying for an B-1 or B-2 visitor visa through an US embassy or consulate. This involves a lot of documentation, paperwork and an interview with an officer, which can sometimes take months to complete. If you are totally prepared, then the entire travel experience will be much easier.