The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA USA) is an online application platform for citizens of Visa Waiver countries. Citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may apply to visit the United States for stays up to 90 days. This travel authorisation permits travel for tourism, business, medical purposes or short-term study programs, without applying for a tourist visa at the US Embassy. Some travellers refer to this travel document as an ESTA visa.
Singapore has strong ties with the US, enjoying extensive military, economic, cultural and commercial relations. The country joined the VWP in 1999, making it easier for Singaporeans to travel to the US. ESTA was established in 2009, as an added requirement for travellers from countries in the VWP. Using ESTA is a faster and easier way to obtain authorisation for entry to the US. In the US fiscal year of 2014 (October 2013 - September 2014), 144,351 Singaporean nationals travelled to the US under the VWP.
Singaporean passport holders who intend to travel to the US may fill in and submit the ESTA visa form online. It is recommended to apply 72 hours before departure. Certain requirements must be met. The validity of successful applications lasts for two years. Citizens of Singapore who travel to the USA as part of the VWP are required to fly with a signatory carrier. Singapore Airlines, for example, is a signatory member.
If an ESTA visa application is unsuccessful, citizens of Singapore may apply for a B1 or B2 visa by visiting the US Embassy in Singapore.
Well-known airlines that fly to the US from Singapore:
Well-known cruise ships:
The American Embassy in Singapore: