Things To Do in Hawaii and How to Apply for ESTA
What an amazing holiday destination Hawaii is! If you are thinking about making a trip to Hawaii then you are unlikely to be disappointed as it is one of the most beautiful places in the US to visit. Hawaii is an island located in the South Pacific Ocean and is the biggest island out of the group of Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii is often described as a paradise island, filled with beautiful beaches and volcanic mountains. With warm weather for most of the year, it makes a great holiday destination for those who like sunshine breaks and also for those who have a sense of adventure.
Travel Authorization for Hawaii
If you are visiting the US and you are a foreign national then you are required to obtain some form of travel authorization such as a visa or an ESTA. The US government introduced the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) to ensure high levels of security monitoring, whilst also making it easier for low risk tourists and business people to visit the US. This applies for Hawaii and anyone travelling to Hawaii that is not a US citizen will be required to show the relevant travel documents.
ESTA eligibility criteria
An ESTA Hawaii application is only applicable to citizens from the 39 countries that are currently part of the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens from other countries must apply for a Hawaii visa instead.
The purpose of the trip must be for tourism or business, visiting family or taking part in an amateur event. An ESTA does not provide permission to gain employment in Hawaii or to study in Hawaii. Students and workers would require a student or employment visa instead.
How to apply for ESTA for Hawaii
Before you are set to fly to Hawaii, you must complete the online ESTA application. This is a fairly short form that you will need to fill in with details such as your name, address, date of birth, passport details etc. You will also be asked some eligibility questions including health details and any criminal convictions. Usually, an ESTA can be completed in around ten minutes, although you should be careful not to rush the application as a small error could mean that your application gets refused.
Once you have completed the form, you will need to pay the ESTA Hawaii application fee and you can then submit the application. Many applications will be processed in just a few hours’ time, although it can take longer in some cases.
It is recommended that you apply for your Hawaii ESTA a few weeks before travelling, so that you can try and rectify any issues with your application where you might need to re-submit an application.
How long can I visit Hawaii for?
The ESTA has a limit of 90 days for any one visit, so you can only stay in the US for a period of up to 90 days. If you are planning on staying in Hawaii for longer than 90 days, or you are planning on travelling around the US for a period that adds up to more than 90 days, you would require a different type of visa.
However, an ESTA is valid for two years (or until your passport expires) so you can make multiple trips to the US using that same ESTA. If your passport expires then you would be required to apply for a new ESTA, as it does not carry over to your new passport. You would need to fill the ESTA application in again, as there is no way of extending an ESTA.
What is the process for applying for Hawaii visa?
If you are not eligible for the ESTA then you should apply for an alternative Hawaii visa by completing the DS-160 form and arranging an interview with the US Embassy or Consulate. This can take several weeks, so you should apply for your visa well in advance of your planned travel date. You will be asked to provide supporting documents for your application that provide evidence that you have been offered a place at a US college, or offered a work contract in the US, for example.
Waikiki Beach is a top tourist spot and you will find plenty of sunbathers heading there on hot days. There are plenty of water sports activities here and the Waikiki Historic Trail is a great way to see the area.
The famous Pearl Harbor is another big tourist attraction and the US Arizona Memorial is open to visitors who are interested in finding out more about this major part of American war history. There are WWII aircrafts and artefacts to see, as well as the remains of the sunken ship.
Waimea Canyon State Park offers another breathtaking experience, with stunning scenery to take in along the ten-mile length of the canyon. Sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the views are amazing and there are beautiful waterfalls that you will find if you take one of the guided tours. Hikers love this area for exploring some of the more advanced trails.
Volcanoes National Park is a fascinating visit, with an active volcano where you get to see the geographic wonders such as hot lava seeping out of the volcano.
There are also some great spots for snorkelling and diving. The Manta Ray Night Dive is an experience not to be missed for the diving enthusiasts and offers something that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Working in Hawaii
The population of Hawaii is quite small compared to some of the big US destinations so working opportunities can be limited. The majority of work is tourist and hospitality based, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, watersports centers to try to get work at.
If you want to head to Hawaii for work or just to see this fantastic destination for yourself then the first thing you should do is apply for an ESTA. This is part of the Visa Waiver Program that grants permission to visit the US for a period of up to 90 days.
You can apply for the ESTA using the online form and you will get a response quickly in regards to whether your application has been successful. Without some form of visa, you will not be able to enter the US so make sure that you get your ESTA if you do not have another form of authorization to visit the US for your trip to Hawaii.