Foreign nationals wishing to travel to the United States can apply for a visa or ESTA. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) authorization is done entirely online, in just a few minutes, and allows you to travel to the USA without a visa. Only nationals of member countries of the Visa Waiver Program are authorized to apply for an ESTA.

For a stay of less than 90 days: You don’t need a visa, you simply need to apply for ESTA online by clicking on online form.

Why get an ESTA rather than a visa?

The ESTA form is intended for nationals of all member countries of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Nationals of the following countries are eligible to apply for an ESTA:

AndorraFinlandLithuaniaSan Marino
ChileIcelandNew ZealandSwiss
CroatiaIsrael (2023)NetherlandsTaiwan
South KoreaItalyPoland
EstoniaLatviaCzech republic
List of 41 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) member countries

However, nationality is not the only eligibility criterion for the VWP. The ESTA application is only for travelers who wish to stay in the USA for up to 90 days. The reason for the stay is also very framed. Thus, the US administration delivers the ESTA only for these three situations:

For any external reason (internship in the USA, job search, training, etc.), you need to apply for a visa at the US embassy.

ESTA’s formal request formality has a dual purpose. On the one hand, strengthening domestic security by maintaining strict control of entrances on US soil and on the other hand, relieve consular services and embassies in order to make travel arrangements in the United States simpler.

How and where to apply ESTA official?

The ESTA form is an online document. It is only after you have submitted your application that an authorization can be issued. To make your request, simply fill in an online form. This can be found on the official U.S. government website, or on any private website specializing in ESTA authorization.

The purpose of this form is to allow the US authorities to know exactly the identity of each traveler who plans to stay on US soil, but also to know what are his motives. If the US Customs and Border Protection believes that you represent a threat to the US state, either because of your legal history or because of your health, it may simply refuse you issue the ESTA authorization.

To validate your application, you must pay a fee for ESTA’s processing fees. To pay this amount, it is simply requested to have a credit card (Visa, American Express, Master Card …).

Before applying online, make sure you have a biometric or electronic passport. Indeed, if you have a passport reading optical, know that it is not compatible with the authorization of temporary residence. In this case, you will need to apply for a new passport from your town hall. In addition, make sure you have a valid passport. If it expires before you leave, your boarding access will most likely be denied.

Terms of use of the ESTA document

When you officially have ESTA authorization, you can travel as many times as you want for 24 months. Please note that this period of validity can be shortened if your expiry date is before this deadline. If the number of stays is unlimited, the duration of the trip is strictly regulated. If you stay more than 90 days in the US simply with an ESTA, the US government is entitled to permanently deny you access to this document for future trips.

If your ESTA expires and you schedule a new vacation in the US, you can complete a ESTA renewal. This procedure will be exactly similar to your first request. In addition, be aware that like any order from ESTA, this new request incurs costs. It will therefore be necessary to pay the amount usually provided for this procedure.