What is the difference between an ESTA and US Visa?

OVERVIEW

In accordance with Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus, effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020, the entry into the United States is suspended for most individuals, other than United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, who have been physically present within the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, or the Republic of Ireland within 14 days of travel to the United States. Proclamation 9993 regarding travel from a Schengen Area country also remains in effect. Any traveler with a valid ESTA who is subject to the Proclamation and who attempts to travel the United States in violation of the Proclamation will have their ESTA canceled. ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to this Proclamation. Travelers who have questions about whether they are subject to, or exempted from, the Proclamation should refer to the Proclamation language, and consult with the U.S. Department of State and the air carrier, as appropriate, in advance of travel to avoid travel disruptions. Proclamation 9984 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk), Proclamation 9992 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus), and Proclamation 9993 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus) all remain in effect.

 

An approved ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is not a U.S. visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a United States visa when a visa is required under United States law.

Individuals who possess a valid U.S. visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for an ESTA.

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

  • You MUST be a citizen or eligible national of a U.S. Visa Waiver Program country and hold an Electronic (Biometric)Passport, that is, your passport must have this icon on the front cover that indicates that your passport is machine readable and contains digital information regarding the passport holder.

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  • You are currently not in possession of a U.S. visitor's visa.
  • Your travel is for 90 days or less. (not extendable).
  • You plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure.
  • You want to apply for a new authorization for one person or a group of applications for two or more persons.

WHAT DO I NEED TO APPLY?

  • Valid passport(s) from a Visa Waiver Program country.
    List of Visa Waiver Countries
  • Completed online questionnaire application.
  • Traveler's valid email address.
  • Traveler's home address and phone number.
  • Traveler's emergency point of contact phone and email.
  • Payment method:
    Fee for application is $14.00 USD CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD ONLY
  • Please contact Peninsula Visa support@peninsulavisa.com

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