ESTA for Bruneian Citizens -

ESTA for Bruneian Citizens

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Brunei joined the Visa Waiver Program in 1993. This means that citizens from Brunei are now able to apply for an ESTA as opposed to the longer application process of a US Visa. This means it is much easier for Brunei citizens to visit the US for business or tourism purposes.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • A biometric passport is required
  • Can be used for visits to the US that last no longer than 90 days
  • Is valid for two years or until the passport expires, which ever date is soonest
  • ESTA is required if visiting the US by sea or by air
  • Same ESTA can be used for multiple trips to US
  • Children are required to have their own ESTA
  • Use for business, tourism, medical or transit in US
Application for Bruneian Citizens

Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Bruneian Citizens

There are many great benefits that citizens from Brunei are able to take advantage of through applying for an ESTA. One of the main benefits is that the process of application is much quicker than if you were applying for a US Visa. Typically, the ESTA application form takes around 10 minutes to complete and once submitted, a response is normally received within 24 hours. However, it is recommended that travellers to the US apply for the ESTA at least 72 hours before they plan to travel.

Another of the advantages of using an ESTA rather than applying for US Visa is that the whole process is completed online. When applying for a US Visa, the applicant is required to attend an interview at the US embassy, which can take weeks or even months to schedule, depending on how busy the office is at the time. Applying for an ESTA is also considerably cheaper than when you are applying for a US Visa.

Filling in the ESTA form is very quick when compared to filling in the US visa form.The applicant is required to answer a set of questions that will determine whether or not their ESTA will get granted when they are screened by US officials.

How Bruneian Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

As citizens of Brunei are included in the Visa Waiver Program, they are able to enjoy all these benefits of applying for an ESTA. All they require is a valid biometric passport, a card to make the payment of the transaction fee with and a valid email address for the correspondence to be sent to.

The applicant will need to have their passport with them when they complete the form, as they will need to provide their passport details in one section. Other sections include personal information, medical information, and any criminal convictions the applicant may have.

It is very important that the applicant checks through their details thoroughly before they submit the form. If any errors are made when completing the form this can lead to delays or even the refusal of the ESTA application, which could disrupt travel plans to the US.

Passport Requirements for the US ESTA

When applying for your ESTA, keep in mind the dates of your arrival and departure in the United States, as your passport must be valid throughout this visit.

Additional passport requirements are:

  • Quicker processing timeThe passport must be electronic, which means it has to contain a digital chip with information on the passport's holder.
  • The biographic page of the passport must have a machine-readable zone.

Filling Out the ESTA Application

Filling out the ESTA application should take no more than 30 minutes, assuming visitors have all of the essential documentation and information on hand.

The applicant will need to give the following information:

  • Personal details
  • Data from a passport
  • Information about their place of work
  • Criminal history
  • Travel plans
  • Contact information in the United States
Why Is My Employer Information Relevant to the Application?

All visitors must prove that they are not seeking to immigrate to the US and apply for visitor or non-immigrant status under Section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Employment information confirms your intention to return to your home country and that you don’t plan to immigrate to America.

What Is the Waiting Time for ESTA Authorisation?

ESTA application will be processed in around 30 minutes to 24 h, and the authorization will be sent via email as a PDF document. The ESTA is saved electronically on the passport in the US Immigration system, so you don't need to bring a printed copy to the airport.

In rare occasions, it might take up to 72 hours to get your ESTA application approved. However, in most cases the processing time is fast.

How Much in Advance Should You Submit Your Application?

Travellers need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours prior to their impending departure to the US. This allows enough to apply properly and to react in case something unpredictable happens.

Furthermore, ensuring that obtained documents required for ESTA are valid is paramount. This involves submitting a legitimate passport, contact details, and low-downs of the traveller’s intended outlook whilst visiting the US.

How Long Is ESTA Authorisation Valid?

It is valid for two years from the date when is issued. However, if one’s passport expires before a period of two years, their ESTA automatically becomes invalid. For this reason, it's very important that tourists keep track of the expiry date on their passports.

How Long Can Travelers from Brunei Stay in the US Under an ESTA?

Travellers from Brunei are required to depart from America within 90 days of their arrival. If they intend to stay longer, they must have a relevant visa based on their specific circumstances. The US visa online is valid for two consecutive years, allowing multiple entries during this period for Bruneian citizens.

Can a Bruneian Citizen Extend Their ESTA Beyond 90 Days?

No, Bruneian citizens cannot extend their ESTA beyond the initial 90-day period. ESTA is specifically designed for short-term visits of up to 90 days for purposes such as tourism, business, medical treatments or transit.

Updating Your ESTA: When Do Bruneian Nationals Need to Apply for a New Travel Approval?

Bruneian nationals must apply for a new ESTA if:

  • They get a new passport;
  • Their passport expires;
  • Their citizenship status change;
  • They altered their names or genders;
  • Some of their answers in the ESTA application have changed.

Important Information About US ESTA

Before starting your ESTA application, there are a few more important information you need to know.

Does the ESTA Approval Guarantee Admission to the USA?

No, the ESTA approval does not guarantee entry into the USA. It confirms that you're eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Border officer will give the final decision on entry. The dilemma often arises because the American visa guarantees entry into the USA, but this is not the case with ESTA.

What to do if ESTA is Declined

In the event that an ESTA application is declined there may still be some options for the applicant. If it is suspected that an error was made when completing the form, they may be able to resend another application but they will need to pay the application fee a second time. Alternatively, applicants who have been declined for an ESTA may be able to apply for a US Visa instead. To do this, they will need to complete a DS 160 form and arrange an interview at the US embassy.

US Embassy Address Brunei

U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan
Simpang 336-52-16-9, Jalan Duta
Bandar Seri Begawan
BC4115 Brunei Darussalam

Can I Make a Second ESTA Application After Being Denied?

Yes, if the cause for the ESTA denial has been resolved, you can apply for a new ESTA 10 days after receiving a response to the earlier application.

ESTA Ineligibility: Who Doesn’t Qualify for the Travel Authorisation?

Some tourists from Brunei don't qualify to travel under the VWP, and these include:

  • People who have been arrested
  • Individuals who possess criminal records
  • Individuals with certain infective diseases
  • Persons who previously overstayed on the Visa Waiver program.

Who Can Apply on Behalf of Bruneian Minors?

Traveling to the US, even for Bruneian minors, requires obtaining an ESTA. Parents or legal guardians can submit an ESTA application on behalf of their children to ensure compliance with the travel authorization process.

Do I Need to Bring a Printed Copy of My ESTA Travel Authorisation to the Airport?

Printing your travel authorization is not a requirement since it is completely electronic, and the DHS provides your ESTA status details to your land, sea, or air carrier. However, having a physical copy of the document could be beneficial in providing verification.

What Is the Difference Between a US ESTA and a US Visa?

There are a few important differences between an ESTA and a visa. These include:

  • Application process:
    For an ESTA - via the online form
    For a visa - interview at the US embassy
  • Time of approval:
    For an ESTA - a few hours to 72 hours
    For a visa - 15 to 30 days
  • Length of permitted stay in the USA:
    Up to 90 days with ESTA
    180 days with a visa
  • Purpose of travel:
    ESTA is suitable for business, tourism, medical and transit purposes.
    Visa is intended for marriage, college students, emigration, and work.

Under What Circumstances Do Bruneian Citizens Need to Applyfor a US Visa Instead of an ESTA?

Bruneian citizens need a visa instead of ESTA to travel to America if:

  • They previously overstayed the maximum of 90 days under ESTA in the US;
  • Their ESTA application is refused;
  • They are double citizens of Brunei and the United States or Canada;
  • They don't have an e-passport with a picture;
  • They have a criminal record;
  • They have some infectious diseases.

Can You Change Your Status if You Enter the United StatesUnder the Visa Waiver Program?

You cannot change your status when you already enter America.

The only way to change your status is to first depart from the USA, and after that, you can apply for the appropriate visa or immigration status from your home country.

Do Dual Citizens of Brunei and the United States or Canada Need an ESTA?

No, dual citizens of Brunei and the United States or Canada do not need an ESTA. They can use their USA or Canadian passport when visiting America.

Benefits of ESTA for Bruneian citizens:
  • Quicker processing time
  • Use for US visits of up to 90 days in length
  • Two years validity
  • Use on multiple visits to US whilst valid
  • ESTA form is short to complete
  • Mobiles can be used for application
If You Want to Find Out More About the ESTA Travel Approval

To obtain further information about ESTA, we recommend visiting our FAQs page and reviewing the ESTA requirements for detailed guidance.

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.


The Visa Waiver Program permits Brunei nationals to enter into America for excursions, transit, health-related or business motives for a total of 90 days without securing a visa. Before travel, all passengers must acqire ESTA approval.
Not all Brunei citizens can use ESTA instead of a visa. It can be used only by people that travel to America for tourism, transit, medical reasons or business for stays not longer than 90 days. Also, those who intend to use it must meet the ESTA requirements.
You must leave the US before your ESTA expires. Otherwise, you may face penalties such as future travel restrictions, difficulties obtaining visas in the future, and potential immigration violations.
There is no need to print your travel permission because the system is totally electronic, and your land, sea, or air operator will be able to see ESTA status information from the DHS.
While your ESTA is valid, you can travel to the US an unlimited number of times. Of course, the length of each stay cannot exceed 90 days.