The Congress of the USA has introduced and passed the legislation to create the Visa Waiver Program for the citizens of mostly developed countries to travel in USA for different purposes including tourism, business medicine, studying etc. Visa Waiver Program works under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security and USA Customs and Border Protection. It allows citizens of the 38 countries to cross the US border for multipurpose including transit to another country and stay there 90 days without visa. Ireland joined the Visa Waiver Program in 1995 and since then it enjoys the membership without any withdraw. It should be noticed that the citizens of Ireland had previously traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 are not allowed to enjoy with VWP. The same goes for the persons who practice dual citizenships of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.
As part of the US Visa Waiver Program and as for the main passing document, Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) introduced in 2009. It gives an opportunity the citizens of US Visa Waiver to enter the USA and stay there maximum 90 days. Advice of the CBP is to apply for authorization as soon as the traveler plans the visit. Validity of ESTA application for the citizens of Ireland and for other member countries as well is approximately two years, depends on the case. When your passport expires during this two-year period, the expiration date of your passport and ESTA application coincide with each other.
Citizens of Ireland as members of the program must apply for the ESTA approval to gain the permission for entering the America. On the first stage you should fill the application. The whole process of applying for ESTA is carried out online. That’s why the internet access is needed, but if the applicant does not have access to the internet then the third-party including family members and friends can fill the application. An obligatory requisite for applying is a valid, un-expired electronic passport. After the citizen of Ireland applies for ESTA, the process can take maximum 72 hours but in practice the process can take several minutes or hours, depends on the case.
Approved ESTA does not guarantee your entry in America, officer of the USA CBP has a final decision making after checking processes. Furthermore, the citizen of Ireland who holds ESTA does not practice the equal rights as the holders of the American visa. For gaining different kind of visa (depends on the travel purposes) citizens of Ireland should visit the embassies or consulates of USA and prepare additional documents for comprehensive process.