Visa or ESTA: A Guide for Hungarian Nationals Traveling to the USA

Embarking on a journey to the United States beckons with the promise of experiencing the splendor of bustling cities, the serenity of natural parks, and the vibrant tapestry of American culture. For Hungarian travelers, the allure of such an expedition requires understanding the essential travel documentation to ensure a smooth entry into the US. Navigating the differences between an e-visa, specifically the ESTA, and other types of visas, is crucial for a hassle-free travel experience.

Let’s delve into the nuances of obtaining the right authorization for your visit to the United States and explore the best options for Hungarian nationals. Whether it’s the rolling hills of San Francisco or the historical landmarks of Washington D.C. that await you, being well-informed will pave the way for an unforgettable adventure in the Land of the Free.

Understanding the ESTA for Hungarian Nationals

For Hungarians aiming to visit the US, the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) presents an expedited and convenient way to obtain travel authorization. As Hungary is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), its citizens are eligible to apply for an ESTA instead of a traditional visa for short stays. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The ESTA allows travel to the US for tourism, business, transit, or short-term medical treatment.
  • It is valid for two years from the date of issue or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • Each stay in the US can be up to 90 days with multiple entries permitted.
  • The process to apply here is entirely online, streamlined, and user-friendly.

An approved ESTA is not a visa but a travel authorization. Therefore, it eliminates the need for a face-to-face interview at a US embassy or consulate, making it less time-consuming than applying for a traditional visa. Remember, though, an ESTA approval does not guarantee entry; US Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry make final admission decisions.

When is a Visa Necessary for Hungarian Travelers?

Despite the advantages of the ESTA for short-term visits, there are scenarios where Hungarian nationals require a traditional US visa:

  • Planning to work or study in the US.
  • Stays longer than 90 days are desired.
  • Travel purposes not covered by ESTA, such as immigration or journalism.

In these instances, it’s necessary to apply for the appropriate visa category, which involves an application process at the US embassy or consulate. This process is typically more in-depth, requiring an interview, providing supporting documents, and possibly a more extended waiting period for approval.

How to Apply for an ESTA

Applying for an ESTA is straightforward and accessible for Hungarian citizens:

  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.

FAQs for Hungarian Travelers Regarding ESTA and Visas

As you prepare for your journey, you might have some questions. Below are some of the frequently asked questions that we come across:

Do I need to print my ESTA approval?

It’s not mandatory, as your ESTA is electronically linked to your passport. However, it is recommended to have a printed copy for your records.

What if my ESTA application is denied?

If your ESTA application is not approved, you will need to apply for a visa. Visit the US embassy or consulate for further guidance on the visa application process.

Can I extend my stay in the US with an ESTA?

No, you cannot extend your stay beyond 90 days on an ESTA. You must depart the US and may reapply for a new ESTA for future visits.

Is the ESTA applicable for multiple entries into the US?

Yes, an approved ESTA is valid for multiple entries. Each trip, however, must adhere to the 90-day limit.


For Hungarian travelers planning their American escapade, understanding the distinction between an ESTA and a visa is foundational. The ESTA offers convenience and efficiency for eligible nationals looking for a short visit to the US. However, for purposes beyond the scope of the ESTA, a traditional visa will be the path to follow. Whichever route you take, a well-prepared traveler is always a step ahead. Safe travels and enjoy your journey to the United States!

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