Transiting Through the USA: A Guide for Swedish Travelers – Evisa Essentials

Travelers from Sweden who plan to transit through the United States en route to a different destination may be pleasantly surprised to learn about the convenience and efficiency of using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for such journeys. Vibrant cities humming with excitement, natural wonders that stretch the bounds of imagination, and a rich tapestry of cultural experiences make the U.S. an enriching transit stop. Whether you’re grabbing a bite of the Big Apple’s eclectic offerings or soaking in the Miami sun during a layover, transiting through the USA can be a highlight in itself.

But before you can enjoy these experiences, it’s crucial to understand the travel requirements, especially for Swedish citizens who benefit from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Let’s dive into what you need to know about transit visas and traveling through the USA with the convenience of an ESTA.

Understanding the ESTA for Transit Purposes

As a Swedish citizen, you are privy to the VWP, which allows you to travel to the U.S. without a conventional visa for tourism, business, or while in transit to another country. The ESTA serves as a travel authorization rather than a visa but is necessary for entry into the U.S. even just for transfer purposes.

While the term ‘transit visa’ might be commonly used, it is technically not what the ESTA is. Instead, the ESTA provides authorization to travel to and enter the U.S., whether or not the final destination is in the country. In essence, if your flight has a layover in the U.S., an ESTA fulfills the requisite formalities for you to pass through.

The Application Process for Swedish Transit Travelers

Applying for an ESTA is a straightforward process, which can be completed with these steps:

  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 including 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’re pressed for time, we offer expedited processing options at checkout to ensure you receive your ESTA before your transit through the USA. Select the suitable add-on for your needs to accelerate the process.

Benefits of ESTA for Swedes Transiting through the USA

  • Simplified Travel: The ESTA eliminates the need for a traditional visa, cutting down on paperwork and embassy visits.
  • Duration and Multiple Entries: An approved ESTA is valid for two years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first, and allows for stays of up to 90 days with multiple entries into the U.S.
  • Flexibility: You can use an ESTA for tourism, business, and transit—adapting to any last-minute travel changes with ease.
  • Speed: Fast processing times means you can receive your travel authorization quickly, often within 72 hours.

Requirements and Eligibility

To apply for an ESTA, you’ll need a valid passport from a VWP country like Sweden, an email address for receiving the ESTA, and a method of payment for the application fee. Some additional information may be requested as part of the application process, such as your employment details and your U.S. point of contact.

Eligibility for the ESTA relies on a variety of factors including the purpose of your visit, whether or not you’re a citizen of a VWP country, and whether you have a past history of visa violations. It’s important to provide accurate information on the application to avoid any disruptions in your travel plans.

Preparing for Transit through the USA

Prior to your journey, make sure to have your ESTA approved, and keep a printed copy with your travel documents—although it’s electronically linked to your passport, having a print-out is often recommended in case of any issues at the border.

Check the latest transportation guidelines for carrying liquids, aerosols, and gels if you’re remaining airside during your layover, and review the services available at your transit airport in the U.S. to make your wait time more comfortable. Planning ahead will enhance your transit experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an ESTA if I’m just transiting through the USA?

Yes. Even if you’re only transferring flights in the U.S., an ESTA is still required for Swedish citizens under the VWP.

How long does it take to get an ESTA?

In most cases, you will receive a response within 72 hours. However, it’s recommended to apply at least 72 hours before your departure to account for any delays.

Can I apply for an ESTA while in Sweden?

Absolutely. You can—and should—apply for your ESTA from Sweden or any other location before departing for the United States.


For Swedish travelers, the ESTA offers a hassle-free way to transit through the U.S., eliminating the need for a traditional visa and streamlining the travel process. This convenience, coupled with the allure of brief exploration during your layover, makes transiting through the United States an effortless and potentially enriching part of your journey.

Remember to apply for your ESTA well ahead of your planned travel date, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with simplified transit procedures. Safe travels, and we look forward to assisting your journey through the United States, even if it’s just for a brief stopover!

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