Whether you are planning a trip to the US on a sightseeing or business trip, the ESTA application will be mandatory if you stay in the United States for up to 90 days. Any request for an ESTA form to travel to the USA, is accompanied by an answer to an online questionnaire. Easy and quick to fill, it still requires rigor to not mention errors or make mistakes that could lead to a refusal of visa exemption.
ESTA form: information to know
Various information will be requested within the ESTA form. For example, you will be asked to provide: personal information, information on your biometric or electronic passport, your current or past employer, your contact information and an emergency contact. Following this information, a series of nine security questions will appear. When you have completed the online form, you will be asked to provide the payment information to finalize the ESTA submission . Keep in mind that once the online form is sent, most of the information in the questionnaire can not be edited, so it is important to read carefully before paying any ESTA fees.
For latecomers, you can make your request 72 hours at the latest before boarding. When this time is exceeded, there is no guarantee that you will benefit from ESTA.
The filling of the ESTA form can be done, either on the official site of the American government, or on a private site which accompanies the applicants of ESTA in their steps.
The results given following your ESTA online request
After completing all the steps required online, you can know the result of your request within 72 hours. To check the status of your application, take your ESTA file number and passport number. There are three possible answers to an ESTA application:
- approved authorization. You are then officially in possession of the travel document to travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program. Please note that the ESTA form does not assure you of admission to US soil, the final decision rests with the US Customs and Border Protection (US Customs and Border Protection) officers when you arrival in the United States of America;
- authorization refused. This status means that you are not allowed to benefit from the US visa waiver. So that your project of stay in the USA does not fall in water, you can make a visa application at the embassy of the United States or the Consulate;
- pending authorization. The final status of your application has not yet been decided, your file is under review, so it does not necessarily lead to a negative conclusion. Normally, the final decision is made within 72 hours.
Who is eligible for ESTA Online?
Any traveler is entitled to request an ESTA document if:
- the trip to the USA has a tourist or professional purpose (business trip) or simply aims to transit;
- the biometric or electronic passport used for online registration is issued by a beneficiary country of the Visa Waiver Program;
- the arrival of Uncle Sam is by plane or boat;
- the solicitor has a return ticket or a continuation ticket;
- the applicant does not pose a threat to the health, well-being and security of the United States.
If all of these eligibility conditions are applied, the temporary residence authorization is theoretically granted by the US administration.
ESTA authorization granted, and then?
If ESTA has been granted, then you are free to travel to the US whenever and wherever you want for 24 months. However, make sure that each stay does not exceed the legal duration of 90 days maximum. The validity period of the ESTA may be shortened if the passport expires during the same period. To remedy this problem, simply go to your city hall to order a new passport, then proceed to a new application online from this piece of identification.