All New Zealand passport holders need an “ESTA” when entering the USA by air, even if they are only in transit enroute to another country.

You do not need an ESTA if entering the USA overland from Canada or Mexico.

You need to apply for an ESTA if… 

  • You are a citizen or eligible national of a Visa Waiver Program country.
  • You are currently not in possession of a visitor’s visa.
  • Your travel is for 90 days or less.
  • You plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure.
  • You want to apply for a new authorization for one person or a group of applications for two or more persons.
  • You will need the following to apply:
  • Valid passport(s) from a Visa Waiver Program country.
    List of Visa Waiver Countries
  • Traveler’s valid email address.
  • Traveler’s home address and phone number.
  • Traveler’s emergency point of contact phone and email.
  • Payment method:
    Fee for application is $21.00 USD.
    Valid payment methods include MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover (JCB or Diners Club only), and PayPal.

Please be careful when obtaining your ESTA’s online – there’s lots of websites out there charging up to USD$80 whereas the official website of the Department of Homeland Security only charges USD$14 for a 2 year multiple-entry visa currently – so only go to

Traveling to the USA is now easier and quicker with the introduction of the ESTA Mobile App.

Upon downloading the app, travellers can launch their application, scan image of passport, answer eligibility questions and receive notifications about a change in status.

Search ‘ESTA Mobile’, & download the app that looks like this