ESTA for Singaporean Citizens -

ESTA for Singaporean Citizens

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Singapore has been part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) since 1999, allowing Singaporean citizens to take advantage of using an ESTA rather than a visa to visit the US. This has been very beneficial for tourism and business with Singaporean visitors to the US.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • Requires a valid, biometric passport•Valid for up to a maximum 90 days
  • An ESTA (or visa) is required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
  • ESTA is valid for two years, or until the linked passport expires
  • Can be used for tourism, business, medical or transit
  • Children require an individual ESTA
  • A valid ESTA can be used for multiple visits to the US
Application for Singaporean Citizens

Do Singaporeans Need a Visa to Enter the US?

Singaporeans are now presented with a more convenient opportunity to journey to the United States sans visa, provided they fulfill particular prerequisites. Bypassing the conventional visa procedures, they have the option to utilize the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, known as ESTA. This approach is not only less complex but also a more economical alternative to facilitate your travel arrangements to the United States.

Such authorization allows entry into USA's borders for up to 90 days with only tourism, business and medical purposes in mind. An ESTA grants expediency when traveling. Singaporean Citizens can avoid long wings and the unnecessary expense involved in getting a regular visa - making your US travels far more convenient and approachable.

Applying for an ESTA

Applying for an ESTA is much simpler than applying for a visa, usually taking less than 20 minutes to complete and submit the application. The ESTA is an online form consisting of a set of questions that will determine whether the ESTA is approved or decline. Issues that could cause the ESTA to be declined include any errors on the application, criminal convictions, health issues or links with terrorist activity.

In order to apply for an ESTA, Singaporean citizens must have a valid passport and they will also need to have an email address that the response for the application will be sent to. The other requirement is to have a method to pay the online application fee, such as a debit or credit card.

If the ESTA is approved, the holder is able to use their ESTA for multiple visits to the US, provided that their passport is still valid. If the passport that it links to expires then a new ESTA will be required to link up to the new passport, it is not possible to transfer an ESTA. It is recommended that the application for US ESTA is submitted well in advance of the travel dates, so that ant issues can be resolved in time. Usually, the ESTA will be approved on the same day but sometimes there are longer waits at busy periods, or if there is any issue with the details provided in the application.

US ESTA Processing Time

Typically, getting your ESTA approved is pretty quick and straightforward, often taking around 72 hours on average to be finalized. It can differ based on factors like the number of applications and the volume of requests that the US government is handling at time.

It's a good idea to apply at least 72 hours before departure. This allows ample time for approval. In case your ESTA application hits a roadblock and gets denied, you'll have enough time to pivot and apply for a US visa, though this process is usually quite time-consuming.

When Should Singaporean Citizens Submit Their US ESTA Applications?

Singaporean travelers need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours prior to their departure to the US. This will give them time to properly apply, along with enough time to react should any obstacles pop up.

Moreover, ensuring the procured documents required for ESTA are present and current is imperative; this includes a legitimate passport, contact details, and low-downs of the traveller's intended outlook whilst visiting the US.

Passport Requirements

For attaining authorization from ESTA, Singaporean travelers must possess passports that meet specific requirements:

The passport must be an e-passport with an electronic chip. On the biographical page, it should contain a machine-readable zone with information on the traveler's name, date of birth, and passport number.

The passport must also remain valid for more than six months from the anticipated departure from the US.

Can You Change or Update Your ESTA Application?

When it comes to changing your ESTA application, you may modify details such as dates, airlines, and hotel bookings. However, you can’t change personal info like your surname or gender. In the case where such changes need to be made, you would have to submit a new ESTA application.

Same thing happens if you get a new passport or get a new citizenship. Make sure that your personal information is updated to ensure a smooth trip to the United States.

US ESTA Ineligibility: Who Is Not Qualified to Request an ESTA?

Certain criterion must be met in order for a traveler to be eligible for an ESTA authorization. Travelers who have been arrested or convicted of specific offenses, those with a record of immigration law violations, along with individuals who were declined a visa previously may all be disqualified from applying for an ESTA.

In addition, tourists who had visited countries deemed as high-risk terrorist areas might be ineligible for an ESTA. It's worth noting that if the traveler is determined to be ineligible for an ESTA, they can still go through the regular application method and acquire a visa.

What Circumstances Require Singaporeans to Get a US Visa Rather than an ESTA?

For Singaporean traveler wanting to enter the US, certain scenarios will necessitate acquiring a visa instead of an ESTA. The following are some examples of these cases:

  • Travelers who need to stay in the states for more than 90 days must obtain a visa.
  • Individuals denied an ESTA in the past need to secure a visa.
  • Tourists with criminal history or convicted of certain crimes will not be able to apply for an ESTA and must get a visa.
  • Visitors going to the US for purposes other than vacation, transit or business like studying and working must also request a visa.
  • Anyone without a valid e-passport or whose passport does not meet the other requirements for an ESTA needs to obtain a US visa.

How Singaporean Citizens Can Use ESTA

Citizens of Singapore can apply for an ESTA to allow them to visit the US for tourism, business, medical or transit purposes. The ESTA is valid for up to two years, or until the holder’s passport expires, whichever one is the sooner. During the validity of the ESTA, it authorizes multiple trips to the US, without needing to reapply each time you visit the US. The ESTA works by electronically linking to the person’s passport and the US border agents will be able to see that the ESTA is valid on their system at border control.

Important Advice for ESTA Application

One of the most common reasons an ESTA is declined is because the applicant made a mistake on the application form. Therefore, it is a good idea to check and double-check your completed form before you submit it, to pick up any errors and correct them to avoid problems.

What if my ESTA is Declined?

In the event that your ESTA application is declined, there are alternative options, such as applying for a business or tourist visa. To do this, you will need to submit a D-160 form and arrange an interview at your US Embassy.

Singapore US Embassy Address:

US Embassy Singapore
27 Napier Road
Singapore 258508

Benefits of ESTA for Singaporean citizens:
  • Can use ESTA for multiple US visits
  • Processing time is fast
  • Visit US for tourism, business, medical or transit purposes
  • Valid for visits of up to 90 days
  • Application is quick to fill in
  • Fill in form using mobile or desktop

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.


Yes, Singapore nationals must submit an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) form if they plan on visiting the US up to 90 days for purposes of tourism, business, or transit.
ESTA approval procedure typically gets finished within minutes, and most applicants receive their approval promptly after completion of their application. In rare scenarios, it could take up to 72 hours for processing and authorisation of the ESTA request.