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I am currently residing in the UAE and working in Abu Dhabi. I hold a Greek passport and was planning to visit the US (ESTA) but only after I quit from the company. My question is, If my residency is canceled in UAE. Can I still apply ? I know it is an online application but does it matter being jobless or not for tourism visit? What If i apply for it and then quit my company? I read somewhere I need proof for strong ties to UAE, like an approval letter, but I do not want to involve them. Also does it matter from which country to leave to USA?

  • What do you mean by "not for tourism visit". What are you planning to do there? – Doc Sep 4 '16 at 12:10
  • You would apply for ESTA using your Greek Passport. Other than maybe Current Address, the UAE is not part the ESTA application. – Johns-305 Sep 4 '16 at 14:48
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    You've got things backward. You don't need a visa to visit the US. You can apply for the ESTA now, and make travel plans later. – Michael Hampton Sep 4 '16 at 14:49
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The US government insists that the ESTA is not a visa. This is disputed by some in that it matches a lot of the characteristics of a visa, however, it differs in some important ways for you:

There will be none of the assessment that you are used to for a visa. The ESTA checks are basically automated checks to make sure that you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.

You can see the full rules on the CBP website here, but to quickly summarzie:

  • You are visiting the US for tourist or for a limited list of "business" purposes
  • You hold citizenship from a VWP national country (Greece is one of these, but note that not all EU countries are)
  • You have an ESTA (if entering by commercial air or sea carrier)
  • You are not a citizen from, or visitor to since 2011: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen
  • You haven't ever overstayed in the US
  • You haven't been convicted of certain categories of crime

They don't care or assess if you have a job, nor is any assessment made on your home address. There are only automated checks done on these things.

Note that when you attempt to enter the USA, then the CBP officer at the border can probe further in to your circumstances - but the ESTA you can expect to apply for and receive within minutes, regardless of circumstances.

See this Question and Answer for more info on the VWP and ESTA.

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