Common Visa Application Errors for Finnish Travelers to the USA

Embarking on a journey to the United States is an exciting prospect for any traveler, particularly for those coming from Finland. With its sprawling landscapes, vibrant cities, cultural diversity, and countless tourist attractions, the US offers a plethora of experiences waiting to be explored. The Statue of Liberty, Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, and the busy streets of New York City are just a few of the sights that make this country an enchanting destination for Finns and others alike.

However, before packing your bags and setting off to the land of opportunity, it is imperative to address the administrative necessities, such as obtaining the right travel authorization. For Finnish citizens, the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is the key to ensuring a hassle-free entry into the United States. Yet, small mistakes can lead to delays or even rejections, turning excitement into disappointment. Let’s delve into the common pitfalls that Finns should avoid when applying for a US visa to ensure a smooth journey to the United States.

Overlooking the ESTA as a Visa Alternative

One frequent misconception among Finnish travelers is the confusion between an ESTA and a traditional US visa. It’s important to know that the ESTA is not a visa but a travel authorization for those from VWP (Visa Waiver Program) countries, including Finland. Eligible travelers can easily apply for the ESTA online, avoiding the lengthy and more complex visa application process for short-term tourism, business trips, or transit.

Incorrect Information on the ESTA Application

Sometimes, excitement can lead to errors when filling out the ESTA application form. It’s crucial to double-check all the details such as your personal information, passport data, and travel plans. Inconsistent or wrong information can result in the rejection of your ESTA application. Here’s a simple guide to ensure your application is error-free:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

Not Applying in Advance

A common mistake is waiting until the last minute to apply for an ESTA. Although the process is generally fast, it’s advisable to apply at least 72 hours before your departure to allow for any unforeseen delays. Early application also adds the benefit of peace of mind, ensuring you’re not rushing through the details in your application.

Ignoring the Passport Validity Requirements

Finnish citizens must hold a passport that’s valid for at least six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the US. Overlooking this aspect could lead to denied boarding or entry, even with an approved ESTA. Always check your passport’s expiration date before applying for an ESTA.

Forgetting to Update Information

Changes to your itinerary or passport details (such as renewing your passport) require you to update your ESTA information. In some cases, particularly with major changes like a new passport, you may need to reapply for an ESTA entirely. Stay on top of this to avoid unnecessary travel disruptions.

Mistaking ESTA Validity with Length of Stay

An approved ESTA is typically valid for two years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. However, this does not mean you can stay in the US for two years. The ESTA allows for stays of up to 90 days per visit. Exceeding this period may jeopardize your ability to use the Visa Waiver Program in the future.

Applying for an ESTA with a Criminal Record

Having a criminal record can complicate your ESTA application, and it may be a ground for denial. If you have a criminal history, it’s crucial to be honest on the application. In certain circumstances, applying for a visa instead may be necessary to provide additional information and context regarding your record.


Traveling to the United States from Finland should be an exciting and straightforward process, and by avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a smooth application process for your ESTA. Always double-check your information, apply with adequate time to spare, and adhere to the requirements set forth by the ESTA program to ensure a hassle-free experience. Whether you’re dreaming of Route 66, anticipating the Golden Gate Bridge’s grandeur, or simply looking forward to experiencing American culture, careful preparation will pave the way for unforgettable memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get an ESTA?

Most ESTA applications are processed within 72 hours, but it is recommended to apply at least 72 hours before your trip to accommodate any processing delays.

Can I enter the US multiple times with an ESTA?

Yes, an ESTA allows multiple entries into the United States, with each stay being up to 90 days.

What if my ESTA application is denied?

If your ESTA application is denied, you may need to apply for a US visa instead, which includes a more detailed application process.

Do children need an ESTA to travel to the US?

Yes, children, regardless of age, require their own ESTA or visa for travel to the United States.

Is it safe to apply for an ESTA online?

Applying for an ESTA through a reputable service, such as ours, is secure. We ensure your personal information is protected throughout the process.

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