Common Mistakes Singaporeans Make on Their USA Visa Application

Embarking on a journey to the United States can be an exhilarating experience, whether for business, pleasure, or perhaps a bit of both. This vibrant nation, known for its bustling cities, scenic landscapes, and cultural melting pot, holds endless opportunities for visitors from Singapore. But before dream becomes reality, there’s a critical step: obtaining the appropriate travel authorization. While Singaporeans benefit from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), allowing for easier travel with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), it’s vital to avoid common application mistakes that can lead to delays or denials.

Navigating the complexities of US travel regulations can seem daunting, but a well-informed approach can make all the difference. Let’s delve into some of the common pitfalls Singaporeans may encounter during the ESTA application process, ensuring your path to the US is as smooth as the serene waters of the Pacific.

Failure to Review Personal Information

One of the simplest yet most frequent mistakes is not reviewing your personal information for accuracy. An incorrect passport number or misspelled name can cause delays. Before submitting, double-check:

  • Full name as it appears on your passport
  • Passport number and expiration date
  • Date of birth

Confirm that all the information aligns with your current passport to ensure seamless processing.

Lack of Updated Passport Information

Your passport is the foundational document for your ESTA application form. It must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric info. Make sure that:

  • Your passport is machine-readable
  • It’s an e-passport if you’re leveraging the VWP

If your passport is due to expire soon, renew it prior to your ESTA application to avoid last-minute stress.

Overlooking the ESTA Expiry Date

While the ESTA is valid for two years, this does not automatically grant a two-year stay in the US for each visit. Singaporeans can stay for up to 90 days per visit, so plan your trips accordingly. Also, ensure that your ESTA is valid for the entire duration of your planned travel.

Incorrect Travel Information

Be crystal clear about your travel plans. Incorrect details about your point of contact, address in the US, or flight information may raise concerns or result in application denial. Accuracy is key.

Working or Studying on an ESTA

The ESTA is strictly for tourism, business, and transit purposes. Engaging in work or enrolling in long-term educational programs is prohibited. For such activities, the correct visa category must be pursued.

Misunderstanding the Approval Process

Don’t assume instant approval. While many applications are processed swiftly, some may require additional time. Apply well in advance of your planned travel date. Ideally, applications should be made at least 72 hours before departure. However, we advise applying as soon as travel plans are made.

Not Using a Reputable Application Service

Ensure you use a trusted and secure service when submitting your application. Privacy and accuracy are paramount, and established service providers like eVisaUS offer smooth and professional processing of your application form.

Overlooking Criminal Record Disclosures

Honesty is the best policy. If you have a criminal record, disclose this information. Failure to disclose can be considered fraud and result in a denied application or entry at the US border.

Omitting Payment or Incomplete Applications

An incomplete application or missing payment can delay the process. Verify that all sections of the application are filled out correctly, and confirm your payment method – PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Credit Card is accepted for efficiency and convenience.

Expedited Processing

If you need your ESTA quickly, remember that expedited processing options are available. Choose the appropriate add-on at checkout for faster service without compromising accuracy or security.

Inadequate Time Allotted for Approval

While approvals can come through within hours, it’s not guaranteed. Singaporeans should apply well in advance of their departure to account for any unforeseen delays or the need for additional information.


1. How long before my trip should I apply for an ESTA?
Apply at least 72 hours before your departure, but we recommend doing so as soon as you plan your trip.

2. What if there’s a mistake on my ESTA application?
Some mistakes can be corrected after submission, but others may require a new application and fee. It’s critical to review your application thoroughly before submission.

3. Can I transfer my ESTA to a new passport?
No, if you obtain a new passport, you must apply for a new ESTA.

4. Is an ESTA a visa?
No, an ESTA is not a visa. It’s an authorization for citizens of VWP countries to travel to the US without a traditional visa for short visits.


As a Singaporean traveler, your journey to the United States starts with careful planning and attention to detail, especially regarding the ESTA application process. By avoiding these common mistakes, you ensure a smoother experience in obtaining your travel authorization. Remember to plan, review, and apply early, and look forward to the diverse experiences awaiting you in the US.

Explore confidently, with the knowledge that by partnering with eVisaUS, your travel authorization is in professional hands. Safe travels and see you in the United States!

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