E very year, many people from Australia travel to the United States. Some head over here for a vacation while others are travelling on business. However, it is important to remember that no matter what your reason for travelling there is certain documentation that you will need as an Australian citizen if you want to enter into or pass through the United States.
One thing to bear in mind is that Australia is amongst a number of countries that are part of the VISA Waiver Scheme, which means that as a citizen of Australia you do not need to have a VISA. However, you do need to have the alternative, which is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA. This is a document that clarified the eligibility of an individual to travel to the USA under the waiver program.
Getting your ESTA Visa
Getting an ESTA Visa for Australian citizens is very simple these days, as it can all be done online from the comfort of your own home. However, one thing that you do need to be mindful of is getting your ESTA sorted in time before you travel. This is not something that you should leave until the last minute, as otherwise you could find that you are too late to get it processed in time. The very latest you should leave it is three days prior to travel but ideally you should do it well before this time.
The whole process of making your ESTA application takes only a short amount of time and you can do it at any time of the day or night based on when it is convenient for you. When you make your application, you will be asked a number of standard questions and you will need to provide some information about yourself as part of the process. You should make sure that you have your passport to hand, as you will need some of the details from it to enter into the system as part of the application. In addition, you will need to have the details of your current or previous employer available for the application.
The good news is that once your ESTA Visa comes through, you won’t have to make another application for two years. This is because the document allows you to gain entry to the United States for a two year period unless your circumstances change. For instance, if you change your name or get a new passport, you would need to reapply even if the ESTA is still in date. If you change gender you would need to reapply. However, if nothing changes then you can wait until the current one expires before making a fresh application.
Always ensure that you have your ESTA document with you when you travel, as this will need to be seen by US Customs in order for you to gain entry to the United States. It is therefore best to keep is safe with your passport when you travel.