The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, is an online application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travelers wishing to visit America. As of January 12, 2009, visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a Travel Authorization prior to visiting the United States. Additionally, all visitors must have a machine-readable passport that provides valid admittance into the United States. The ESTA application process can be completed entirely online and is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). During the ESTA application process, you’re required to enter biographical information about yourself. You’ll also need to answer questions about VWP eligibility. We recommend completing your your ESTA as soon as you start making plans to travel to the United States.