If you’re a Filipino hard put in getting a visa at the US Embassy, this is not for you. But in case you’re still interested, read on –
Citizens of countries under the US Visa Waiver Program will now have to make an extra effort to enter the US. This is made possible with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization implemented last January 12 by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prospective passengers are now required to apply online for travel authorization at least 72 hours before their trip.
The ESTA website asks travellers to input their personal data, such as those contained in their passport, and their flight numbers. This is then matched to the DHS database. If the applicant is rejected under the online system (by reason, perhaps, of being on the terrorist watch list or a previous record), he/she is enjoined to apply for a US visa in the nearest embassy.