Dutch Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

Ever since Jan. 12, 2009, all Dutch citizens entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have been required to apply for the ESTA. The ESTA is a travel permit. It requires travelers to fill out an online application to gain approval to travel to the United States, but it differs from a visa in that the requirements for obtaining one are fewer. The ESTA requirement applies to all travelers entering the United States by air or sea under the Visa Waiver Program. To apply for an ESTA, you must have a valid machine-readable passport. Dutch travelers without an approved ESTA or a valid U.S. visa will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States. The U.S. government recommends that all Dutch applicants apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before traveling to the United States.

What is ESTA – A short explanation?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, is an online application system. It was developed by the United States government to strengthen the security of the country when people travel by air or sea to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA is not the same as a visa. The ESTA is an entry requirement, however, which applies to travelers entering the United States from visa waiver countries, which includes the Netherlands.

How long does an application for ESTA take?

It generally takes between 5 and 10 minutes to fill out an ESTA online application form. You then should find out within minutes whether you are pre-approved for travel. If you are not approved for an ESTA, you would then need to apply for a U.S. visitor visa. Visitor visas are typically categorized as Business (B-1), Tourism and Visit (B-2), or a combination of both.

Who must apply for the ESTA?

Any Dutch citizen who wants to enter or pass through the United States by air or sea under the Visa Waiver Program needs to apply and be approved for an ESTA. Note that you may not submit one application for many travelers or a family. Each traveler must have their own approved ESTA. This includes babies.

What is the Visa Waiver Program all about?

The Visa Waiver Program is a U.S. government program for travelers of eligible countries, which includes the Netherlands, to enter the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or fewer. It is more convenient and is a benefit to travelers to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. The procedure is faster than the visa application process. It usually takes about 10 minutes to complete the ESTA online application process, whereas it could take weeks or months to complete the visa process.

Which countries partake in the Visa Waiver Program?

The following countries are currently part of the Visa Waiver Program: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.