Since January 20, 2009, a new formality is essential to obtain the right of access to the United States. Through the ESTA, the traveler is allowed to board an aircraft or boat without a visa. The procedure for making the request is straightforward and does not put the applicant in a long wait. The purpose of this system is to preserve internal security and ensure the well-being and health of US citizens. Those who choose the earthly way to enter the US will not be subject to this formality.
When should one apply for a travel authorization in the United States?
The ESTA authorization applies to very specific travel conditions. Before making your request, you must be sure to meet the expectations of the Visa Waiver Program. To qualify for the VWP, ensure that you meet the following conditions:
- have the nationality of a country adhering to the Visa Waiver Program ( France , Belgium, Italy …);
- your stay in the USA is a tourist trip, a business trip or a transit;
- you plan to stay in the USA for up to 90 days;
- you enter the United States by air or sea;
- you have a return ticket;
- you have a valid biometric or electronic passport.
If you do not respond favorably to all of these prerequisites, the application of ESTA will be useless. The American authorities are indeed very strict compared to the rules of entry on the national territory. However, this does not necessarily question your plans to stay in the United States of America . You will always be able to apply for a visa at the US Embassy or Consulate.
How to fill out the ESTA form?
To apply for ESTA, you must complete an online form. The ESTA form consists of a series of questions that must be answered. The questions relate to identity, passport references, travel details to the US, as well as physical and mental condition.
Once the questionnaire is completed, the applicant will have to carefully check the answers before validating the application. Given that the ESTA document is a fee, an administrative fee must be paid at the time the applicant completes registration.
The questionnaire responses are then analyzed by US Customs and Border Protection (US Customs and Border Protection) computer systems. The latter rely on a very well-stocked database, and know that if you provide false information, the lie can be quickly detected, the consequence will be simply the ban for life of the VWP.
Normally, the final status of the ESTA request is determined within 72 hours. However, it is very common to receive ESTA admission within minutes of submitting the application.
If you are denied by the US state, first make sure it is not a simple oversight or mistake, if indeed it is, you will need to reapply online. On the contrary, if your application has been rejected because you do not meet the requirements of the US visa waiver, you will need to apply for a visa at the US Embassy.
Should the ESTA travel authorization be printed?
As the name suggests, the ESTA is an electronic document, that is to say that it is directly synchronized with your electronic passport or biometric, no reason therefore to misplace your authorization of stay. The ESTA is valid for two years, but be careful, if your passport expires before this deadline, you will no longer be able to use the ESTA document, just like the visa. It will therefore be necessary to repeat the travel authorization procedures from the new passport.