Whether or not you need a visa for Hawaii is usually one of the first questions holidaymakers ask. Hawaii is the 50th state of America and the entry requirements differ depending on what country you are from.
There is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Visa Waiver Program that allows citizens or nationals of 38 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, to enter the United States for the purposes of tourism (for a period of up to 90 days) without requiring a visa if they apply and are approved for ESTA. Think of it as a compulsory security check, you’ll either be approved or denied.
Beware of fake ESTA websites, if you are asked to pay more than US$14 you are in the wrong place!
The official ESTA website is:
As of February 2019, the official ESTA website states you are eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program if you are a citizen or national of one of the countries listed below.
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and United Kingdom.
Apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours before departing for America. Real-time approvals are no longer available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding.
I recommend applying for your ESTA as soon as you lock in that trip to paradise! Have your travel information handy for the online application including passport details, contact information and address while in the U.S. (your accommodation). Take note of your ESTA reference number and travel with a copy of your approved ESTA.
If you are denied ESTA or are not from one of the 38 countries that take part in the ESTA Visa Waiver Program, please seek advice from your nearest United States Embassy or Consulate to confirm the process for entering the United States.
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