ESTA for Belgian Citizens
Belgium has been a member of the Visa Waiver Program since 1990 and as part of the agreement with the US, Belgian citizens are able to apply for an ESTA as a simpler and faster alternative to applying for a visa.
ESTA Requirements and Important Information
- For visits limited to 90 days
- Required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
- ESTA is issued for two years (or until passport expiry)
- Can be used for tourism, business, medical or transit
- Children must have their own ESTA
- Can be used for multiple visits to the US
- Used with a biometric passport
Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Belgian Citizens
There are many benefits for the citizens of Belgium who enjoy travelling and want to visit the US. The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online form that is fast and easy to complete and submit. It provides alternative travel authorization to a traditional US visa, which would take considerably longer to apply for and process.
The ESTA is so quick to apply for that it can normally be around 10 minutes to complete the form and then the confirmation email can also be very quick to state whether the application has been accepted to declined. Under the ESTA terms, citizens of Belgium are able to visit the US for business, tourism, transit and medical purposes for stays of up to 90 days at once.
When an ESTA is approved, it will be valid for two years, or until the related passport expires, whichever date comes sooner. During this time, the ESTA can be used for multiple trips to the US, and is only required for entering the US, so there are no restrictions around which states you can visit once in the US.
The ESTA is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and when they enter the US border, the agents will be able to see on their system that there is a valid ESTA attached to the passport.
How Belgian Citizens Can Apply for ESTA
Belgian citizens just require a valid passport, an email address and a card to pay their ESTA application fee. They will need to complete all of the mandatory sections of the application form before paying and submitting it. It is very important to check the details before sending the application, as any errors could determine that the application is declined.
The applicant will need to fill in their passport details, personal information and contact details, as well as information regarding their health and any criminal convictions. This is part of the pre-screening process that the Department of Homeland Security conduct as part of their security measures.
What to do if ESTA is Declined
An ESTA can be declined for various reasons and a common one is that a mistake was made on the application form. In some cases, the applicant will be able to re-apply, paying another application fee with the correct information.
If an application is declined due to another reason, a further option is to apply for a US visa, such as a tourist, student or working visa, depending on the nature of their visit. ESTA does not provide permission for Belgian citizens to work or study in the US.
Applying for a US visa will take longer, starting with completing a DS-160 form and then
attending an interview at the US Embassy. The address for the US Embassy in Belgium is:
U.S. Embassy Brussels
Regentlaan 27 Boulevard du Régent
Benefits of ESTA for Belgian citizens:
- Quick processing time
- For tourism, business, medical or transit in US
- Valid for visits of up to 90 days maximum
- Quick to complete application form
- Use mobile or desktop for applying
- Multiple visits to US allowed