The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) redesigned the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website that travelers must use to pre-register before entering the United States pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program. The website was redesigned using feedback from travelers and stakeholders to make it more user-friendly. More than 19 million foreign travelers use the ESTA website every year. The revised website includes the following features:
- Access to FAQs during the entire application process.
- Smartphone capability for application status checks.
- Translation of all website pages into 23 languages.
- "Group" feature placed at the start of the application process so that families and groups can more easily submit their applications at the same time.
ESTA registrations submitted through the old website will still remain active and accessible. Travelers who have a valid ESTA registration will not be required to re-register with the new website until their current registration expires. The new website can be accessed here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
ESTA is an web-based application process that was established in 2008 to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program allows certain nonimmigrants to enter the United States as a Visitor for Business or Pleasure without having to previously secure a B-1/B-2 visa at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. A Visa Waiver Program traveler is granted a period of authorized stay of 90 days. Prior to entry, the traveler must register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) online and pay a nominal fee. Citizens and nationals of the following countries are eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.