The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a United States government requirement (mandated by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007) for participating travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries arriving by air or sea to complete online the I-94W form (formerly paper-based and filled on arrival by participating VWP citizens) in advance of travel to the United States. ESTA is not needed when arriving by land from Canada or Mexico. Passengers (including babies) without an ESTA may be denied to check in, although it is possible to get one while at the airport. Since 2010 the payment of $14 is required to obtain the ESTA.
- Website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/
- go online to submit an authorization request three days (72 hours) before travelling to the United States
- if a traveller is not eligible for visa-free travel, he or she will need to apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Hungary
- Each travel authorization under ESTA can be valid for up to two years, However, a Visa Waiver Program traveler must obtain a new ESTA authorization if he or she is issued a new passport, or changes his or her name, gender or country of citizenship. In addition, a traveler must obtain a new ESTA authorization if any answer to the ESTA application eligibility questions changes.
- An ESTA is available to, and required of, citizens of countries taking part in the Visa Waiver Program, which are as follows: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. This list comprises the member states of the European Union (except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania), the member states of the EFTA, the micro-countries enclaved in the European-Union (except Vatican City), four countries in Asia (Brunei, Japan, Singapore, South Korea) and two countries in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand)
- ESTAs are only valid for a combined maximum stay in the USA and its surrounding countries of ninety days, regardless of how long a traveler actually intends to stay in the USA