Electronic System for Travel Authorisation - ESTA
From January 12th, 2009, clients entering the US must have completed the ESTA pre-clearance data on the US Immigration web site, in order to enter America under the US VIsa Waiver Programme. Failure to enter this data may result in you being refused entry to America.
Travellers entering the USA with passports from Visa Waiver Programme countries - such as Ireland - will be required to obtain travel authorisation in advance. To do this, you simply need to log on to the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) website before you travel, and answer some straightforward questions.
The new system is nothing to worry about. For many years, people who have travelled to the United States have been asked to fill in a form during the flight or at US immigration in Dublin or Shannon airport. The online ESTA system asks for the same information, just in advance of the trip.
Whilst the vast majority of applications from Visa Waiver Countries are approved instantly, less than half of one per cent of applicants are turned down for one reason or another. If a traveller finds themselves in this category, they will need to apply for a visa, and this does take time.
We at Killester Travel recommend that you sit down together with your passport and apply for ESTA (even if you are not sure they will be going to the US this year). Once your ESTA is approved it will be valid for two years or until your passport expires (whichever comes first), allowing you to travel back and forth to the US freely.
Getting a travel authorisation using the ESTA website is 100% free. However, online companies have sprung up offering to process requests for travel authorisation for a fee, in some cases up to $50! This is an attempt to ‘mug’ travellers online, who may not be aware that the process costs nothing. Don’t pay good money for a service that the US Government is giving away for free. The genuine ESTA website is operated by the Department of Homeland Security website and - most importantly - it won’t ask you for any money. Just click the link below to go straight to the official website, than click apply:
Of course, it is regrettable that the US Department of Homeland Security have given this important website such a user-unfriendly address. Clearly, many travellers will do a web search for the term ‘ESTA’, and this could lead them to the websites that are trying to scam them for money.
The required data should be entered by you directly. Killester Travel cannot undertake to do this for you without legal indemnity. This page is presented as an aid. It should not be used as a difinitive guide to US Immigration requirements. Please refer to the ESTA web site for that. JGT does not accept any responsibility for any liability whatsoever as a result of using the information contained on this page.
Our advice is clear - if you are travelling to the US from January 12th, 2009, make sure to get your ESTA travel authorisation well in advance. Set aside ten minutes to log on and sort it out. Enjoy the trip.
To Book Your Next Trip to America Call Killester Travel Today on (01) 8336935 or e-mail