How to Apply for a US Visa | ESTA Official USA


Don’t Get Ripped Off Like Me! 

When it comes to purchasing a US visa online, there a few key steps to follow to ensure you obtain the correct visa and avoid being ripped off! You need to know how to recognise travel and visa scams that demand large upfront amounts of cash for ESTA or visitor visa.  

Know Your Travel Visa Requirements

Did you know that there are serious long-term consequences, if you enter the United States without a valid visa? Any person who enters the US without a visa can be convicted and held responsible for a civil violation under US immigration laws. If you get a strike against your name, you may never be allowed to enter the US again. The US visa application online process is the quickest and easiest way to get your visa in advance of your USA trip.

Recently, an Australian friend of mine sailed his yacht from Australia to Japan and on his way back to Australia, he sailed and berthed his yacht in Guam (US waters). He was stopped by the US Coast Guard for visa clearance. Because, he sailed his yacht from Australia, the standard ESTA 90 day Waiver Visa Program was not valid. The person’s FIRST entry into either the USA or USA protectorates (such as: Spanish Virgin islands of Culebra, Vieques and Puerto Rico) must be by commercial carrier (i.e. plane or ferry).

Because, he had sailed from Australia on his private yacht and not obtained the correct visa, he found himself in very hot water. The consequences of the paperwork oversight is a major problem as he has immediate family living in the US that he may possibly never be allowed to visit again! It is very important to know which type of visa is required and its validity. Head to the official site – ESTA Official USA Visa Application Website for more information. 

US Visa Application Australia 

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) is the Official USA Visa Application Website. Citizens of a foreign country who wish to enter the United States must first apply for a US Tourism visa by obtaining travel authority through the ESTA online website.  The document is issued by the US and inserted in the travellers passport by the immigration department of the travellers country of citizenship. Some international travellers are eligible to enter the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements and conditions for visa-free travel.   

All Australian travellers who plan to visit the USA must be approved by ESTA to enter under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The ESTA application process takes only a few minutes to complete, however it is advisable to completed the application at least 72 hours before your departure date as it can take up to 2-days for completion. Most times, you will receive authorisation and notification within a few minutes of completing the online application. You can check ESTA status online if your application is in processing mode.

US Visa Check At Airline Check-In

When you are checking in for your flight from Australia to US, your airline carrier will check whether you hold a valid ESTA Visa. Travellers who have not obtained ESTA approval will be denied boarding all air carriers bound for the United States. 

US Visa In Australia 

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables Australian nationals and (visitors from certain countries), entry into the United States for business or pleasure; US Tourist Visa duration is up to 90 days or less;  provided they meet the following requirements.   

  • holder of a E Passport (passport with an integrated chip)
  • registered with ESTA
  • meet the standard ESTA conditions

US Visa Application Online

Travellers beware, I googled US visa and was directed to ESTA via a third party and paid $75US. The US visa application fee from the official ESTA website is $14US. Click on the highlighted link to be directed to the ESTA official website 

How long does it take to get a US Visa in Australia?

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a US visa from Australia is online. The ESTA application process only takes a few minutes to complete (online), however it is advisable to completed the application at least 72 hours before your departure date as it can take up to 2-days for completion. You will receive authorisation within a few minutes of completing the online application. The ESTA is valid for 2 years from the date of application. It’s best to print this confirmation and take it with you whenever you enter the US, just in case the officer doesn’t have it. However your details provided in the ESTA application and the approval are normally stored in the US immigration system and available to any US Customs and Immigration officer when you enter.

US Waiver Program  

To find out whether your country is part of the US Waiver Program visit this link  

US Visa Checklist  

Making plans to visit the US? Download  the “Before You Go” checklist. 

6 Best Travel Gadgets You Must Have!

Want to learn more about the Best Places to Visit in USA? Click on the links below and be inspired!

Travelling the US is a fabulous experience and I can highly recommend it. US is a huge place and some visitors tend to explore either the East or West Coast. Depending on what you love to see and do, the US caters for everyone.

Music fans should definitely include New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville. History buffs head straight to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.. For those who love a wine, there are heaps of great wineries in Texas.

Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Palm Springs are unbelievable sights. The beaches and lifestyle around the Californian coast is beautiful. Did I mention the National Parks!

Looking for get things to see in the US?

Check out the great savings on the Best Travel Sites on the planet – Viator and TripAdvisor

For more information on how I can help you with travel plans

Travel Planning Resources

Packing Checklist

Subscribe to the Progressive Traveller community and receive my FREE printable travel packing checklists. Learn how to pack efficiently and maximise your luggage space for your next trip abroad. (checklist available at the end of this section)

Book Your Flight

Skyscanner is my favourite airline search engine for booking both my domestic and international flights. Also check out my pro tips on how to find the best and cheapest flights in my Go Travel eBook.

Rent A Car is where you will find the right car in the right place at the right price. It’s the best car rental site for comparing prices and offers.

Book Accommodation

My go-to-online accommodation search engine is With over 830,000 hotels, apartments, villas, resorts, guest houses and B&Bs, you will be spoilt for choice. They offer great rates, *free cancellation, no reservation fees and best prices are guaranteed. Through the booking site you have access to customer reviews, special offers and great deals. Plus, each accommodation is shown by location and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.

Save $35 with this Airbnb coupon code and learn the best way to find cheap Airbnb accommodation around the world. Check my Go Travel eBook for more accommodation pro tips.

Protect You and Your Belongings

If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! Protect yourself and your belongings with my preferred consumer insurer, World Nomads. They provide an extensive range of options to suit your type of travel and they are giving my readers a 5% discount code when they enter Go Travel. Head to World Nomads, and enter the promo code GOTRAVEL for an exclusive discount!*  

Please note: 

  • For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, World Nomads cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.


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