ESTA for UK Citizens

Citizens of the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for an ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The UK has been a member of the VWP since 1988 and currently remains an active member.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • ESTA is only for visits of up to a maximum 90 days
  • Required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
  • A valid, biometric passport is required
  • ESTA is issued for two years, or until passport expires
  • Can be used for tourism, business, medical or transit
  • Children are also required to have their own ESTA
  • Can be used for multiple visits to the US
Application for UK Citizens

How British Citizens Can Use ESTA

British citizens are eligible under the VWP to apply for an ESTA, to waiver the requirement for a visa when travelling to the US. Anyone travelling to the US requires the relevant travel documents and for UK citizens visiting the US, they require either an ESTA or a visa. If the purpose of the visit is for tourism, business, medical or transit, for a period of no longer than 90 days, then an ESTA is the adequate travel authorization that is required.

Applying for an ESTA for UK citizens is a lot quicker and more straightforward than applying for the traditional US visa. Usually, the applicant will receive the response regarding their application within just a few hours, sometimes even sooner. It is recommended that ESTA for Brits applicants submit their application at least 72 hours before their intended travel date.

How to Apply for ESTA

UK citizens can apply for ESTA by completing a simple online form They are required to provide their personal information, passport details and also must answer a set of eligibility questions. Once completed, they can submit the application which will then be screened by the US Department of Homeland Security. If the application is approved, then the ESTA will automatically be electronically linked to the applicant’s passport.

Important Advice for ESTA Application

When completing the ESTA application, it is important to make sure that no mistakes are made. Any errors can result in the application being refused, which could mean you do not have an ESTA in place in time for your trip to the US. As the ESTA is valid from two years from issue, it is a good idea to apply well in advance of your trip, to ensure that you have time to reapply if necessary or to try and resolve any issues with the application.

What if my ESTA is Declined?

In the event that your ESTA application is refused, you are able to apply for a tourist or business visa. To do this, you are required to complete a D-160 form and will also be required to attend an interview at the US Embassy. In the UK, there is a US Embassy in London and US Consulate Generals in Belfast and Edinburgh.

UK London Embassy Address:

Embassy of the United States of America
33 Nine Elms Lane
SW11 7US

Benefits of ESTA for UK citizens:
  • Fast processing time
  • Visit US for tourism, business, medical or transit
  • Valid for visits of up to 90 days
  • Quick to complete application
  • Fill in form using mobile or desktop
  • Use for multiple visits to US