Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
Visa waiver forms should be completed as follows:
A Visa Waiver Form must be completed online using the new Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). This is only accessible via the internet and must be completed at any time before travel, but we recommend no later than 72 hours prior to departure. You will need to have the address of the first hotel/accommodation that you will be staying at in the US, as well as your passport number and other basic biographical information (date of birth etc). An application form can be found by going to: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. In most cases you will receive an automated response within a few seconds of completing the application, generally stating that travel has been approved. If for any reason a visa is not authorised (for example you are not a British Citizen), then you will receive a response stating this. A visa approved via ESTA is valid for up to 2 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. If you plan future trips, or your destination/itinerary changes after your visa has been approved, you can easily update the information by re-visiting the ESTA website. If you do not have the internet at home, we recommend asking friends or family, or visiting your local library, where you can normally find computers available for public internet access. If you are still unable to get onto the internet to complete the form, then you should inform us at your earliest convenience, certainly well before 72 hours prior to your departure. If you do not apply for and receive travel authorisation via the ESTA system prior to travel, you may be denied boarding or admission into the USA.
Please note that from the 8th September 2010 the US government is going to charge $14 per ESTA
Additional information regarding the visa waiver programme and ESTA is available at www.cbp.gov/esta.