ESTA for Irish Citizens
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Since 1995, Ireland has been part of the Visa Waiver Program, which means that citizens from Ireland are able to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) rather than the longer process of applying for a visa. This have made it much easier for Irish citizens to travel to the US for tourism and business purposes.
ESTA Requirements and Important Information
- Able to use on multiple visits to the US
- ESTA can be used for trips of a maximum 90 days
- Required when travellers are flying or arriving by sea to the US
- A valid, biometric passport is required
- Issued for two years (or until passport expires)
- Can be used for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes
- Children must have their own ESTA
How Irish Citizens Can Use ESTA
There are many different benefits of applying for an ESTA, particularly for short tourism trips to any part of the United States, or for regular business trips, for example. The process of applying for ESTA is quite straightforward, especially compared to applying for a US visa. It is also quicker and cheaper to apply for than the visa.
To apply for an ESTA, Irish citizens will need to have a valid passport, a valid email address and will also be required to make a card payment for their ESTA application fee. The application can be completed in around 20 minutes, consisting of questions about the applicant i.e. their personal details, passport details and eligibility questions such as criminal activity and medical conditions.
The ESTA is an online form that can be quickly submitted and will then be reviewed by the US authorities to determine whether the ESTA will be accepted. For many applicants, the processing time is very short and the ESTA is approved within just a few hours. However, it is advised that the ESTA application is submitted as early as possible and a minimum of 72 hours before travel, to avoid problems that could result in missing the flight.
How to Apply for ESTA
The application process requires you to answer a set of questions such as personal details, passport details and eligibility questions that include criminal convictions, medical history and other details. Once you have completed all of the required information, you should check over your answers to make sure they are accurate. Once you are happy, you can submit your application by paying the application fee.
When the ESTA is approved, it automatically links to the applicant’s passport electronically. It stays valid for two years, or until the passport expires. If the passport expires then a new ESTA would be required for the next trip to the US, you are not able to transfer the ESTA onto your new passport.
Important Advice for ESTA Application
When you complete an ESTA form, any errors could cause your application to be declined or delayed, so take great care when completing your form and check it over several times before you submit your application. The longer ahead of your travel you apply, the better as it will give you more time to deal with any issues with your ESTA and re-apply if you need to.
What to do if ESTA is Declined
If you get an email to say that your ESTA has been declined, it may be down to a simple error, in which case, you should be able to re-apply for your ESTA. However, if your decline is for another reason then you may be able to apply for a visa to get authorization to travel to the US. Part of the US visa application process is to attend an interview at the US Embassy in Ireland.
The address of the US Embassy in Ireland is:
US Embassy Dublin
42 Elgin Road
Benefits of ESTA for Irish citizens:
- Use for visits to US of up to 90 days
- Fast processing time and quick to complete application
- Authorizes visits to US for tourism, business, medical or transit
- Able to fill in form using mobile or desktop
- Use same ESTA for multiple visits to US