How much is an ESTA visa for the USA (price and processing time)

The cost and processing times for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for the United States can vary depending on your application method. However, if you apply through Visas for Future, obtaining a US ESTA costs $46.82, and the processing time is within one day. Read on for more detailed information about the specific cost and processing time for obtaining an ESTA for traveling to the United States.

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The cost and processing time of getting an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for the United States vary depending on your chosen application method. Different application methods have varying fees and processing times, which can lead to fluctuations in the overall cost and duration of the ESTA application process. However, if you apply for your US ESTA through Visas for Future, the processing time and cost are as follows:

  • Cost: The cost is $46.82, and you can pay using a credit card, debit card, or online payment platforms like PayPal.
  • Processing Time: Your application will be processed within one (1) business day.

What We’re Offering

If you are a citizen under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you must obtain US ESTA.((U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2024). Official ESTA Application Website. Dhs.gov. Retrieved March 13, 2024. <https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/faq>)) The ESTA is an authoritative and automated system that can only be used for business or pleasure purposes. Our processing service guarantees receiving your ESTA in your mailbox within 24 hours.

  • Valid for two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • Multiple-entry.
  • 90 days per entry.((U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2024). Official ESTA Application Website. Dhs.gov. Retrieved March 13, 2024. <https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta>))
  • $46.82.
  • ESTA is not a visa.

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Validity and duration of the US ESTA

The ESTA is valid for up to two years or until the expiration of the traveler’s passport, whichever occurs first, permitting multiple entries. Each entry allows for a maximum stay of 90 days.((U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2024). Official ESTA Application Website. Dhs.gov. Retrieved March 13, 2024. <https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta>))

Importance of knowing the price and processing time of the US ESTA

Understanding the price of the US ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is crucial for travelers for several reasons: 

  1. Budget Planning: Knowing the ESTA fee helps travelers plan their trip expenses accurately. They can budget for it and other travel expenses to ensure they have enough money for everything they need. 
  2. Financial Management: Knowing the ESTA price allows travelers to manage their finances efficiently. They can include the ESTA fee in their travel budget and make smart choices about spending during their trip. 
  3. Avoiding Surprises: Knowing the ESTA price beforehand means travelers can handle unexpected costs when they apply to enter the United States. This way, they can avoid any last-minute money worries. 
  4. Comparing Choices: Understanding the ESTA price enables travelers to compare different application methods or service providers. They can evaluate if any extras or better service are worth the additional cost. 
  5. Planning Ahead: Knowing the ESTA price helps travelers plan when to apply. They can choose the right time based on their budget and how long it takes to process, ensuring a smooth application process.

Understanding how long it takes for the US ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) to be processed is important for a few reasons:

  1. Planning Your Trip: Knowing how long it takes helps you plan your trip better. You can apply for the ESTA on time for your travel dates so you can take your time and avoid any delays.
  2. Avoiding Delays: Knowing the processing time helps avoid any hold-ups when getting your ESTA. Applying early means getting your authorization on time, so your travel plans will be good.
  3. Dealing with Emergencies: If you need to travel unexpectedly, knowing the processing time helps you determine whether there are any options to speed things up. For example, you can decide if paying extra is worth getting your ESTA faster.
  4. Managing Your Money: Understanding the processing time lets you plan your budget properly. If you need your ESTA urgently, you can budget for any extra fees for faster processing, so you’re not hit with any surprise costs.

U.S. ESTA VS. U.S. Visa

The difference between an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and a visa lies in their legal status and purpose for travel to the United States.

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

  • ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
  • It is not a visa. Instead, it is an authorization that allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the US for tourism, business, or transit purposes without obtaining a visa.
  • ESTA authorization is typically valid for up to two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • Travelers from VWP countries must obtain an approved ESTA before boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States.


  • A visa is an endorsement or document issued by a US consular official that allows a foreign citizen to travel to the United States for a specific purpose (e.g., tourism, business, work, study) and a specified period.
  • Unlike ESTA, a visa involves a more formal application process, which may include an interview at a US embassy or consulate.
  • Visas are required for travelers from countries not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program or those traveling for purposes other than those permitted under the VWP.
  • The type of visa required depends on the purpose of the visit (e.g., B-1/B-2 tourist visa, F-1 student visa, H-1B work visa).

Key Differences:

  • Legally, an approved ESTA authorization does not substitute for a visa when a visa is required under US law.
  • Travelers holding valid visas are not required to apply for an ESTA authorization if they are traveling for the purpose for which the visa was issued.
  • ESTA is primarily for short-term visits (90 days or less) for tourism or business purposes, while visas may allow for longer stays or different activities in the US.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does USA visa processing cost?

The cost of processing a USA visa can vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. At Visas for Future, our B1/B2 visa processing fee is $215.81.

How much bank balance is required for a US visa?

The US government does not specify a particular bank balance requirement for obtaining a visa. However, applicants may need to demonstrate their financial capacity to cover expenses during their stay in the United States.

Can I get a US visa without a bank statement?

Whether you can obtain a US visa without providing a bank statement depends on various factors, including the type of visa you are applying for and the specific requirements of the US embassy or consulate processing your application.

Can the embassy check your bank account?

No, the US embassy may request verification of your financial documents but will likely not directly access your bank account.

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Rosalie Santos
Written by

Rosalie is a content writer who loves to learn and share knowledge. She has a background in education and teaching, which helps her write clear, accurate, and engaging content. She writes about travel, culture, and education topics. She also handles Turkey and India visa applications, which she learned from Lei Achumbre, the COO of Visas for Future and a visa expert. She fulfills visa orders and answers customer service questions once a quarter.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
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MLA Style

Santos, Rosalie. "How much is an ESTA visa for the USA (price and processing time)." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/how-much-is-an-esta-visa-for-the-usa-price-and-processing-time/. Accessed on 13 March 2024.

Chicago Style

Santos, Rosalie. "How much is an ESTA visa for the USA (price and processing time)." Visas For Future. March 13, 2024. https://www.visasforfuture.com/how-much-is-an-esta-visa-for-the-usa-price-and-processing-time/.

Published: 13 Mar 2024 12:41 UTC

Last modified: 20 Mar 2024 8:25 UTC

Reading time: 6 minutes

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