The United Kingdom is a part of the visa waiver program implemented by the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP). This enables the citizens of the UK to travel to the United States for business or leisure without a visa. But you have to obtain an ESTA approval in order to travel to the U.S. without a visa. The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) was designed to scrutinise the traveller before he or she arrives in the United States due to the prevailing security situation in the world. In fact, the ESTA program is an online scheme where the applicant fills an online application and receives the approval within a few minutes via an email. You need a valid email address and debit or credit card when applying for the ESTA. Here are the basic requirements when applying for the ESTA visa.
The ESTA program has helped simplify travelling to the United States for millions of people. You only need a machine-readable passport to apply for this scheme. You should apply for the visa at least 72-48 hours before you board a flight or ship bound to the United States. There are flagship carriers that accept passengers with ESTA. Hence, you should reserve your ticket on such a carrier when you are travelling under the VWP. You can stay in the United States for less than 90 days with the visa. The approval is valid for two years or until your current passport expires. If you change your name, citizenship, or your passport expires before the two years, you should reapply for the approval.
The program is designed so that the US Government could prescreen the travellers from VWP countries. This is very important due to the current security situation in the United States as well as around the world. In case your ESTA is denied for whatever reason, you should apply for a traditional visa to travel to the U.S. Although you get approved for an ESTA, the U.S. immigration has the final say in accepting you into the country.
If you plan to travel to the United States from the United Kingdom, you should apply for the ESTA visa. It is an online scheme where the visitor is prescreened before he or she arrives in the U.S. This is mandatory due to the current security situation in the world. The above read offers information on the ESTA visa.