Do European Citizens Need a Visa for USA? -

Do European Citizens Need a Visa for USA?

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Any travelers planning to visit the US in the future must be aware of the travel authorisation requirements that the US operates with. The US has a Visa System in place for non-US citizens who wish to travel to the US. However, for citizens from certain countries and many European countries, a visa is not required for tourism or business trips. This is because the US has an agreement with 40 countries that they are members of the Visa Waiver Program, which means they can visit the US using an ESTA instead.

The majority of the European countries are members of the Visa Waiver Program. Out of the current EU countries, only Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania are not included in the Visa Waiver Program. Therefore the citizens from these countries must apply for a US visa.

|Poland is the most recent country to be added to the VWP. Conversations happen regularly between the US and the officials from the remaining non-VWP EU countries regarding becoming members to become members in the future.

Benefits of using an ESTA

There are many benefits of being able to apply for an ESTA as opposed to applying for a US visa. For example, the process is much quicker, and the ESTA can usually be applied for and confirmed within just a few hours.

Applying for a US visa, on the other hand, involves attending an interview at the US embassy and completing a much longer form. The processing time for a US visa can take weeks or even months, so the ESTA is a much more convenient option for people who are just visiting the US for tourism or business purposes.

How to apply for an ESTA

An ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization. To apply for one, you must fill in a short online form that requests personal details, passport details, and other information such as medical history and any criminal convictions. The ESTA forms part of the US approach to maintaining security and screening visitors entering the US while still not making it too difficult for low-risk tourists to visit the country.

The US tourism industry is huge, with places like NYC, LA, and Las Vegas being top travel destinations for citizens from Europe and the rest of the world. Therefore, the ESTA allows tourism and business trips for most EU citizens to be more straightforward than applying for a US visa.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Certain European countries can enter the US without a visa. However, this is only valid if the trip is for tourism or business purposes. Every European country except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Croatia can enter the US without a visa. For other European countries, they will only require an ESTA to enter the US.
Yes, EU passport holders can travel to the USA. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the US borders are temporarily closed to most European travelers.
Yes, EU citizens who wish to travel to the US without a visa and are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program will need to obtain the ESTA. The US has an agreement with 40 countries to allow visa-free entries to citizens of the VWP eligible countries. This means they can visit the US using an ESTA instead of a visitor (B) visa. Most of the EU countries are part of the VWP. Hence they will need an ESTA to enter the US.
EU citizens who enter the US through the ESTA can stay for up to 90 days. Any EU citizen who wishes to stay longer than 90 days will have to apply for a visa.
If you plan to visit the US for a period of longer than 90 days or for reasons not permitted under the ESTA, such as studying or employment, you would need to apply for the relevant US visa instead of an ESTA. There are many different types of US visas, so you will need to check which one is the relevant one for the purposes of your visit and start the application process for the visa.
Yes, Europeans are eligible to visit the US. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of travel restrictions all across the globe. As a result, most Europeans might still find it difficult to visit the US until the pandemic clears off.


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