USA: Evisa for Short-Term Business Assignments: A Business Traveller’s Guide

Chicago city skyline as shot from a helicopter in winter

The United States, a global center for business and innovation, beckons professionals worldwide for short-term business trips. If you’re planning such a venture, whether it be conferences, meetings, or partnerships, you’ll likely need an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Holding an ESTA allows you to travel to the US with ease and is a mandatory step for visa waiver countries engaging in business activities that don’t require a conventional work visa.

Embarking on a short business trip to cities like New York, San Francisco, or Chicago not only offers a gateway into the American corporate scene but also provides a glimpse into the cultural mosaic that defines the U.S. Before you pack your briefcase, here’s what you need to know about securing your ESTA, ensuring your business trip is both successful and compliant with U.S. immigration policies.

Understanding the ESTA for Business Travellers

The ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It is not a visa, but a travel authorization for business and tourism purposes. Business-related activities that can be conducted with an ESTA include:

  • Attending business meetings, seminars, or conferences
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Engaging in short-term training sessions
  • Traveling as a lecturer or speaker

Note that an ESTA does not permit employment by a U.S. company or long-term engagements in the country. If you’re from one of the VWP Countries, you can complete an application form for an ESTA instead of applying for a traditional business visa.

How to Apply for an ESTA for Business Purposes

Applying for an ESTA is a straightforward process, and it can be done entirely online. Here’s what you need to do:

  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 authorisation 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.

Important Tips for Business Travellers Using ESTA

Having your ESTA approved is the first step. To ensure a seamless business trip, consider the following tips:

  • Ensure that your ESTA is valid for the duration of your trip.
  • Remember that an ESTA allows for stays of up to 90 days per visit.
  • Check the passport expiration date; it should be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U.S.
  • Keep a copy of your ESTA approval with your travel documents.
  • Update any changes in your travel plans or personal information on your ESTA profile.
  • Business travellers are encouraged to apply for an ESTA as soon as travel plans are considered and no later than 72 hours before departure.

If your application is denied, it does not mean you are permanently barred from entering the U.S. You may still apply for a full visa, such as a B1 Business Visa, via the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.

FAQs for Business Travellers Applying for an ESTA

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions:

Can I perform work for a U.S. company during my stay?

No, holding an ESTA does not permit you to be employed by a U.S. company. ESTA is suitable for business trips that involve activities like attending meetings or conferences, not for carrying out regular work for a U.S. employer.

Is the ESTA suitable for multiple entries into the U.S.?

Yes, the ESTA allows for multiple entries into the U.S. It is valid for two years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first, and allows for stays of up to 90 days per visit.

How much does an ESTA application cost?

The cost includes the processing fee and is payable during the application process. We offer competitive pricing and various payment methods for your convenience.

What if my business trip involves excursions to Canada or Mexico?

With an ESTA, you may visit neighboring countries like Canada or Mexico. However, if you plan to re-enter the U.S., ensure that your total stay within the North American region does not exceed 90 days.


As a business professional, maximizing your time and opportunities on short-term trips to the U.S. is essential. An ESTA streamlines the process, allowing you to focus on the purpose of your visit without the added stress of visa complications. Remember to apply early and travel with assurance. If you have any further queries or need assistance, our team is here to help you navigate the ESTA application process smoothly. Safe travels and successful business endeavors await you in the United States!

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