The US has some of the strictest entry requirements, and before finding a cheap international flight, it is important to confirm if you have the right documents and are eligible to enter the country.
So, does Croatia need Visa for USA? The answer is yes and no. In this guide, we will look at the different options Croatians have to enter the US, whether they really need a Visa to enter, and what they can do to obtain one.
Visa Waiver Program
Croatia and the US have bilateral ties spanning over 30 years, and in 2021, Croatia joined the Visa Waiver Program that allows its citizens to enter the US for a maximum of 90 days using an ESTA.
An ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an authorization document permitting you to board a US-bound flight or ship. With an ESTA, you can visit the US for business, tourism, a short course, medical purposes, or transit. An ESTA and a Visa are two completely different documents.
Unless your passport expires or you recently got a new one, you change your gender or name, you can continue to use an ESTA for two years, after which you must apply for a new one again. If any of your details change, you will have to get a new ESTA to enter the US.
If you are a Croatian with American and Canadian citizenship, you do not need to apply for an ESTA. You can use either passport to enter the US. You also do not need an ESTA if you already have a US Visa.
How to apply
The ESTA application process is a quick one. It is an online process that takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. Once you submit your application, you can expect a response within three days. This means you must make your application at least 3 days before your travel date.
For an ESTA application, you will need a valid machine-readable passport. Your passport should be able to reveal your personal information when uploaded or scanned. You will also be required to give your home, phone, and email address details in the form.
To apply for an ESTA, visit the ESTA application page and fill in the form. You will be required to upload your passport in the process and pay a non-refundable $21 fee.
If your ESTA application is denied, you will receive an email stating the reasons why it was denied. Your ESTA application can be denied if:
- Your details are incorrect.
- You answered yes to any of the eligibility questions on the form.
- You have had a criminal past.
- Your Visa was previously rejected.
- You overstayed during a visit.
- If you have ever been deported.
You can reapply for an ESTA if it was rejected due to incorrect details, but you will have to wait 24 hours before reapplying.
The most common traveling US Visas are tourism (B2) or business (B1) Visas, each valid for 10 years. You can stay up to 6 months in the US with both Visas.
You will need a US Visa if;
- You are denied an ESTA.
- Your stay is more than 90 days.
- You are traveling for anything other than the reasons stated above.
The Visa application process can take weeks or months. This is because the application process is quite vigorous. It can take up to 27 days before you get a Visa interview appointment or up to 6 months to receive your Visa.
How to apply
To apply for a US Visa, you will need to fill in the DS-160 form. This is an online form that must be completed before you pay the $160 Visa application fee or schedule your Visa appointment at the US embassy in Zagrev.
For your interview, you will need to carry
- A copy of the DS-160 form.
- A receipt of the paid $160 Visa application fee.
- A passport that will not expire for at least 6 months during your stay.
- A two by two inches photo of yourself.
- Proof you will not overstay and that you plan to return to Croatia. This could be an apartment lease, a marriage, or a birth certificate.
- A document like a travel itinerary or hotel reservation showing the purpose of the trip.
- Proof you can financially take care of yourself. This can be bank statements, financial statements, a letter of invitation, or any other evidence showing you have a source of income.
If your application is successful, you will be informed when you can pick up your Visa or the Visa will be sent to you via post.
A US Visa and an ESTA are completely different documents that permit entry to the US. If you do not want to wait to visit the US an ESTA is the better option. It is a quick and easy process with no visits to the US embassy for interviews.