Are you planning a trip to the USA? Are you unsure if you need a visa to travel? How long is the visa for? We answer these questions and more, with our guide on How to get a visa for the USA.

You will need a visa to travel to the USA, even if it is just for a holiday! Depending on your nationality, will also depend on what visa you will need to apply for. If you are a citizen or a national from one of the eligible countries, you can apply for an ESTA (electronic System for Travel Authorization). If you are not from one of the eligible countries, you will need to apply for a different visa. Just follow these simple steps on how to get an ESTA visa for the USA.

For more information on which countries are eligible for and ESTA, or you have other questions surrounding visa’s; you can get more information by visiting US Customs and Border Protection website.

Firstly, we would like to highlight that we are no experts in this area, we do not help applicants obtain visa’s, we do not work for the US Customs and Border Protection , we are simply travelers who have applied for an ESTA to the USA,  and we want to pass on our own knowledge, and experience onto our fellow travelers. We do not suggest you take this as formal or official advice; yet should you require further assistance in obtaining any other form of visa application, then please proceed through the relevant channels for such advice.

Secondly, when we have applied for an ESTA visa to the USA, we have applied as British citizens, there may be different eligibility criteria for other nationals. 

Phew, now that is out of the way, we can crack on…..

How to apply for an ESTA visa for the USA

The cost of an ESTA visa is US$14.00.

To apply for an ESTA visa for the USA, just follow these simple steps:

Step 1

The first thing you will need to do, is visit the U.S Customs and Border Protection website! Use the FAQ (frequently asked questions) section, should you have any questions.

Step 2

For first-time applicants you will select create new application! If you have already applied for an ESTA and looking for further information on your application, then select continue existing application. We will assume at this point that you are applying for the ESTA for the first time.

Select create new application
Select create new application

Step 3

Select create new application, and select if you are applying for an individual or a group. A group application is intended for a group of up to 50 applicants to be paid for under one single transaction, but the group do not need to travel together. Select the correct option for your needs. When we purchased our visa, we both applied for individual application.

Step 4

If you are applying for an individual, you will be directed to a disclaimer page. Read the full page before confirming that, yes you have read and understood the information and agree to the terms, or no you do not agree to the information and terms. If you select no you do not agree option, you will be presented with further information to read, if at this point you still do not agree with the terms and conditions, you will not be able to apply for an ESTA visa for the USA.

To apply for a Visa to USA, you need to select yes you agree to the disclaimer if you agree
Disclaimer page

Step 5

Providing you have agreed to the information and terms, then click next. You will be required to enter your personal information as stated in your passport, and email address before selecting next.

Enter your passport details
Enter your details in line with your passport

Step 6

Follow the steps on the remaining pages, and select next.

Step 7

Enter your payment details, so payment can be made for your application. Once your application has been processed you should receive an email confirming your application has been made.

Step 8

You’ll receive an email confirmation if you have or have not been granted an ESTA visa for the USA.

Checking an update on an application you have already made:

If you have already made an application for an ESTA visa for the USA, and haven’t had an outcome yet, you can check on the progress of your application. Just follow these simple steps, to find out about the progress of your application:

Step 1

Make sure you are on the US Customs and Border Protection website, and select continue existing application.

You will need to confirm if your application is for an individual or group booking.

Step 2

A security notification box will appear, make sure you read the content of the security notification, before selecting confirm and continue. If you are not happy with the security notification, you may select cancel and exit, doing this however will terminate your action you intend to make.

Step 3

If you have selected confirm and continue, then the next page will load, at which point you will need to enter some of your personal data such as your passport number, along with your application number.

If you have already applied for a Visa to USA, then select continue existing application
Select continue existing application

If you do not have your application number, you can enter your country of citizenship, issue date on your passport, and expiry date.

Step 4

Once you have entered the correct date, click retrieve application, to view its progress.

Once you are granted a visa to the USA, where do you intend to visit? How about a Catskills Couples Getaway! It’s full of adventure, peace and good food.


An ESTA to the USA permits travel for up to 90 days, if you are intending to stay longer in the USA, we would suggest speaking to the USA Embassy or check their website for more information.

You must apply for your ESTA visa more than 72 hours before your intended departure.

If you have any questions, you can check the US Customs and Border Protection website, who have a detailed FAQ section.

Have you had to apply for a visa to the USA before? How did you find the process? We would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

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