Can you do business in the US with an ESTA Visa?

There are many things that you have to think about when you travel to the US with business. One that you absolutely should know more about is the ESTA visa.

There are many things that you have to think about when you travel to the US with business. One that you absolutely should know more about is the ESTA visa.

This is a document that will allow the citizens coming from specific participating countries to the US, all without traditionalvisa. Stay is allowed for a maximum of ninety days and some extra requirements have to be respected. All of them are established by the US Department of Homeland Security.

The traveler needs to become eligible under Visa Waiver Program standards. If this is the case, the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an extra approval that should be obtained before departure. ESTA eligibility happens when you are a citizen and you are checked by the US Department of Homeland Security. However, there are restrictions that do apply.

When you enter the US through an ESTA visa, you are allowed to be a tourist and conduct limited business.

Examples Of Reasons To Be Accepted Under ESTA:

  • Holiday – vacation
  • A visit to relatives or friends
  • Tourism
  • Getting medical treatment
  • Becoming involved in a social event hosted by a social, service or fraternal organization
  • Consult with your business associates
  • Participate in sports, musical or similar contests or events as an amateur, when you are not paid for the performance
  • Attend training, unless you are paid for it
  • Attend professional, educational, business or scientific conferences or conventions
  • Negotiate contracts

Examples Of Reasons To Not Be Accepted Under ESTA:

  • Studying
  • Employment
  • Getting permanent US residence
  • Work under film, radio, foreign press or similar information media

Besides the fact that you need to be a valid citizen in a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program and havea valid travel document, you also have to:

  • Get the valid ESTA document before departure
  • Travel only on approved carriers via sea or air
  • Hold round-trip tickets so you indicate returning flights

Correct Passport Type

Keep in mind that if you want to travel to the US for business and ESTA is an option you can take advantage of, you still need passports from the specific country of citizenship. The document has to be valid for a minimum of six months after the planned departure date from the US. If you are traveling as a family, every single family member needs to hold a passport.

An e-passport is highly preferred. In this casethe informational data holding the identity of the traveler is put into a special electronic chip. Data includes 2 machine-readable lines of printed data, plus facial recognition details. Chip is scanned in order to match traveler identity listed on the passport. The e-passport is really easy to identify since it includes a unique symbol right on the document’s cover.


To sum up, if you travel to the US and you do this for business purposes that are included in the ESTA program, everything is really fast. You do not need to worry much about transport but you have to be sure that you always consider getting acceptance before departuredate.