How to Complete Your USA Visa Application in the UK

The anticipation of traveling to the United States often brings to mind the iconic images of the Statue of Liberty, the vast landscapes of the Grand Canyon, and the bustling streets of New York City. A voyage to the US offers myriad opportunities for adventure, business, and cultural exploration. For British citizens, the convenience of visiting the US is greatly enhanced by the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), allowing travelers to bypass the traditional visa application process for short-term visits. Instead, travelers can obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a streamlined travel authorization that’s much easier to complete than a conventional visa.

Understanding how to navigate the ESTA application process from the UK is essential for a stress-free trip to the United States. In this article, we’ll guide you through completing a US visa application in the UK, focusing on the ESTA for eligible travelers. Let’s dive into the requirements, process, and tips to ensure your travel plans take off without a hitch.

Eligibility and Requirements for a US ESTA

Before applying for an ESTA, ensure that you’re eligible under the VWP. The VWP includes many countries, and the United Kingdom is a participating member. If you’re a British passport holder planning to stay in the US for 90 days or less for tourism, business, or transit purposes, the ESTA is the right fit for you. You can check the list of VWP Countries to confirm eligibility.

Passport Requirements

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your period of stay in the United States, with exceptions for certain countries. As a UK citizen, your passport should also be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric info.

Previous Travel Considerations

If you have visited certain countries after March 2011, including Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen, or hold dual nationality with these countries, you may not be eligible under the VWP and may need to apply for a visa instead.

How to Apply for a US ESTA from the UK

Applying for an ESTA is straightforward and can be done from the comfort of your home in the UK. Here is the simple three-step process:

  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.

Common Questions During Application

When you apply for an ESTA, you’ll answer questions about your personal details, employment information, and your travel plans in the United States. You’ll also be asked about your health and criminal record to ensure you do not pose a security risk. Answering these questions accurately is crucial to the approval of your ESTA.

After Submitting Your Application

Once you’ve submitted your ESTA application and payment, you can expect a response within 72 hours. However, it’s recommended to apply at least 72 hours before your travel date in case any additional documentation is requested.

If approved, your ESTA will be valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can travel to the US multiple times within that period without reapplying, as long as each stay doesn’t exceed 90 days.

Travel Tips and Considerations

While an ESTA grants you permission to travel to the US, it doesn’t guarantee entry. The final decision rests with immigration officials at the port of entry. As a traveler, it’s wise to stay informed about the customs and border protection regulations.

Always travel with a copy of your ESTA approval, and inform your airline that you’re traveling under the VWP. Lastly, ensure your travel insurance is up-to-date to cover any unexpected events during your trip.


Obtaining an ESTA from the UK is a simple process designed to make your dream trip to the United States a reality. By following the guidance provided and ensuring you meet all the requirements, you’ll be on your way to experiencing the diversity and excitement of America with peace of mind. Adventure, business opportunities, and cultural exchanges await — make sure your travel authorization is the first step on this incredible journey!


Can I apply for an ESTA if I already have a valid visa?
Yes, but it’s unnecessary. If you have a valid visa, you can travel to the US on that visa for the purpose it was issued. An ESTA is not required.

How often do I need to apply for an ESTA?
An ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires. You can use it for multiple entries within that time frame.

What if my ESTA application is denied?
If your ESTA is denied, you may apply for a visa through the US Embassy or Consulate.

Do children need an ESTA?
Yes, everyone traveling under the VWP, regardless of age, needs an ESTA.

Can I extend my stay in the US beyond 90 days with an ESTA?
No, the ESTA does not allow you to extend your stay beyond 90 days. You must depart the US and apply for a visa if you wish to stay longer.

Share this...