Top Errors Estonians Make While Applying for a USA Visa & How to Avoid Them

Traveling to the United States is an exciting venture filled with opportunities to explore diverse landscapes, experience vibrant cultures, and engage in various professional pursuits. For Estonians, as with all international travel to the U.S., it requires careful preparation, particularly when it comes to visa applications. Securing a travel authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a streamlined process, yet it isn’t immune to errors that can potentially derail your travel plans. Understanding and avoiding common mistakes during the application process is crucial for a smooth experience and seamless entry into the United States.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of the application process, and pinpoint the missteps that you must avoid. By keeping informed, you can navigate the application with confidence and concentrate on planning the more enjoyable aspects of your journey – whether that includes capturing the golden hues of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge or feeling the electric buzz of New York City’s Times Square.

Incorrectly Filled Application Forms

One of the most common mistakes Estonians make while applying for their U.S. visa via the ESTA is submitting incorrect information on their application form. Details such as names, passport numbers, and dates should mirror the information on your passport precisely. Discrepancies, even minor, can result in delays or denials.

Overlooking the Passport Validity Requirements

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your period of intended stay in the U.S. Failing to comply with this requirement can be grounds for ESTA refusal. The U.S. authorities need to be assured of your intent to return to Estonia or move on to another destination post your visit.

Assuming Previous Authorizations Guarantee Entry

Having an approved ESTA from a previous trip does not necessarily ensure that it is still valid. ESTAs are typically valid for two years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. It is critical to check the expiration of your ESTA and reapply if necessary.

Misunderstanding the ESTA as a Visa

It’s essential to understand that the ESTA is not a visa, but a travel authorization for those eligible under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It is intended for short visits – up to 90 days – for tourism, certain types of business visits, or transit purposes. For longer stays or other types of travel, a different type of U.S. visa is required.

Selecting the Wrong Type of Visa

Choose the appropriate visa category. For instance, if you intend to work or study in the U.S., an ESTA will not suffice and could result in a refusal of entry upon arrival if you do not hold the correct visa.

Not Checking for Updates or Changes in Visa Policy

Visa policies are subject to change, and it is the applicant’s responsibility to stay updated. Regularly consulting reliable sources and news regarding the ESTA will ensure that you remain compliant with current requirements.

Paying Insufficient Attention to the Payment Process

Completing the payment successfully is an integral part of the application process. At times, payments might fail due to various reasons such as incorrect card details or insufficient funds. To avoid such errors, make sure you have an acceptable payment method and that all the information entered is accurate. Payment types we accept include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Credit Card.


Can I apply for an ESTA if I previously traveled to the U.S. on a different visa?
Yes, having traveled on a different visa does not affect your eligibility for an ESTA, provided you now meet the VWP criteria.

How do I correct a mistake on my ESTA application?
Some mistakes can be corrected before submitting the application, while others require you to submit a fresh application. Double-check all details before finalizing your submission.

What happens if my ESTA is denied?
In the event of a denial, you may need to apply for a regular U.S. visa through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

How far in advance should I apply for my ESTA?
You should apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure, but it is advisable to apply as early as possible.

Is it necessary to print out my ESTA authorization?
It’s not mandatory, as the ESTA is electronically linked to your passport, but it is recommended to keep a printed copy for your records.


Traveling to the United States should be an effortless part of your journey and obtaining an ESTA as an Estonian citizen doesn’t have to be complex. By avoiding these common mistakes and following the proper steps, you can ensure a successful application. Remember to fill out our simple online application form, double-check details against your passport, appropriately submit and pay for your application, and look forward to the approval in your inbox. Should you require further assistance or an urgent ESTA, we offer expedited processing options to cater to your needs. With these preparations out of the way, you are all set for a memorable American adventure.

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