NEW USA VISA REQUIREMENTS From 12 January 2009, US Customs have introduced mandatory new enhance security requirements for travellers entering the United States under the Visa `Waiver Program (incorporating nationals of countries including Australia, New Zealand). Customers and staff who are travelling for temporary business or leisure under the Visa Waiver Program will need to apply for authorisation (ESTA) prior to travelling.
ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveller is admissible to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travelers’ arrival. The ESTA application collects
biographic information and answers to VWP eligibility questions. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended that travelers apply as soon as they begin preparing travel plans or prior to purchasing airline tickets.
ESTA questions answered here – ESTA Q & As