ESTA Step by Step Guide
Want to apply for an ESTA (ESTA aanvragen) for your trip to the US but not sure how to go about it? Well, applying for ESTA is much easier than applying for a VISA. Nevertheless, some help is always needed, especially if you are new to it and do not want to waste time due to mistakes made while filling the application form. So, here is a simple walkthrough of the application process:
1. Keep your passport ready
Even before you start filling your ESTA application, make sure that you have an e-passport ready with you. The e-passport or biometric passport contains biometric data and is a must-have for an ESTA.
2. Start filling the ESTA form
Once you have a valid biometric passport with you, go to the application page to open up the ESTA form (ESTA-formulier).
- Enter personal data
The very first thing that you need to do is fill up all the personal data that the form asks for. This includes your first name, gender, date of birth, alias/pseudonym, place and country of birth, and parents’ names.
- Enter contact details
Once you have entered personal data, it is time to input contact details. This will include a phone number to get in touch with you. This will have four options to choose from, namely Job, Landline, Mobile, Other. Choose what fits best. The phone number must include your area code. Select the appropriate country code from the dropdown list. You will also need to enter your home address.
- Enter employment information
The next part of the form will ask for your employment details if you have marked Yes. You will need to enter the name and address of your present or former employment organization. Mark NO if you were never employed.
- Add social media details
This part is optional. You can choose to omit this part. If not, you can choose a particular social media platform and your username/handle/ID/screen name for that particular platform.
- Fill up the emergency contact details section
Next, you have to provide the details of a person whom the authorities can contact in the situation of an emergency in the US like serious illness, accident, etc. You can provide details of a friend, a family member, or a business associate. Make sure that you fill in all details like Name, Surname, Country Code, Phone number, and Email address of the person correctly.
- Provide travel information
At this point, you would be asked whether you will transit to a different country from the US. It is recommended that you tick it as a NO even if you are in transit this time. This will allow you to actually enter the US on the same ESTA if you want the next time. Add the airport as your destination address in the form.
- Your contact in the US
If you have selected NO in the above question, you will be required to add details of your contact in the US. This could be your business associate, a friend, or a relative. If there is no one you know or the trip is for tourism purposes, provide details of the first accommodation that you have booked in the US.
- Add citizenship and passport details
Next, you need to fill in your passport details like number, country of issue, date of issue, date of expiry, etc. You must also select the country you are a citizen of. This information is vital in obtaining an ESTA.
- Additional passport and citizenship details
Apart from the above information, if you hold citizenship in another country, you must provide details about it and any other passport that you may have. Even if you have already surrendered citizenship in the past, provide full details.
- Answer security questions
The next step is very important as your ESTA approval depends on it. You will be asked a number of security questions and you must answer all of them truthfully. A false statement may cause a denial of entry to the US.
After you have filled out the entire form, you will be asked if your answers are true to your knowledge. Upon checking the box, you will be forwarded to the next step.
3. Data summary
The data you entered will be displayed to you. If everything is okay, you can proceed. Else, go back and make corrections.
In this step, you will make payment for your ESTA application (ESTA aanvraag). Choose a payment method that suits you the best.
Once you have made the payment, your application will be submitted for approval. It will need anywhere between a few minutes to 72 hours for approval.