ESTA for Latvian Citizens
Latvia became members of the Visa Waiver Program in 2008, which enables citizens of Latvia to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) instead of the much more complicated process of applying for a US visa.
ESTA Requirements and Important Information
- Remains valid for up to 2 years or until the linked passport expires
- All individuals including children must have their own ESTA
- The same ESTA can be used for multiple visit to the US
- Travel authorisation must be obtained when visiting US
- Limited to 90-day visits in the US
- Can only be used for tourism, business, medical and transit purposes
Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Latvian Citizens
As members of the Visa Waiver Program, citizens of Latvia are able to enjoy the many benefits of applying for an ESTA rather than a US Visa. One of these benefits includes being able to obtain travel authorisation to visit the US very quickly , often within 24 hours of submitting the application. In some cases, the ESTA processing can take longer, therefore it is recommended that applicants leave at least 72 hours in between application and their travel.
As well as the quick processing, another benefit of using an ESTA is that it can be used multiple times for visits to the US. As long as the biometric passport that the ESTA is linked to is still valid, the ESTA will be valid for two years.
The online application form takes around 10 minutes to complete and then the application is submitted electronically, ready to be screened by the US authorities.
How Latvian Citizens Can Apply for ESTA
Citizens of Latvia require a biometric passport in order to apply for their ESTA and will also need to have a valid email address and a card that they can make the application fee with. The whole application process is completed digitally, there is no requirement for the applicant to attend an interview at the US embassy. Citizens from countries that are not in the Visa Waiver Program must attend a US Embassy interview to get a Visa if they want to visit the US.
The questions on the application form include name, address, date of birth, medical questions and criminal convictions. They also include details related to travel to certain countries for screening terrorism links.
When the form has been completed, the applicant should check through all of the details they provided to make sure there are no errors. If there is an error on the application this will usually lead to it getting declined.
What to do if ESTA is Declined
In the event that an ESTA is declined, the applicant may be able to resubmit another application if there were some details that were incorrect on the declined application. If, however, the application was declined because the applicant did not fit the criteria required then the next option is to apply for a US Visa through the US embassy.
US Embassy in Latvia
U.S. Embassy Riga
1 Samnera Velsa St. (former Remtes)
Benefits of ESTA for Latvian Citizens:
- Much faster than visa application
- Costs less than visa application fee
- Shorter form to complete
- All processed digitally
- Use for US visits of up to 90 days
- Multiple visits to US with same ESTA