If you want to go to the United States, you have two choices regarding travel formalities: Visa or ESTA. Indeed, if your stay in the United States for business, tourism or transit does not exceed 90 days and if your country benefits from the Visa Waiver Program, you will only need a travel authorization to enter the United States and not a visa. However, in order to benefit from the ESTA travel authorization, your passport must be biometric or electronic and be valid for the duration of your stay in the United States. Otherwise, or if your stay in the United States is longer than 90 days, you must apply for a visa at the American embassy in your country.
ESTA versus USA visa
ESTA, which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, is an electronic authorization system for travel to the USA. This system, implemented in 2009, aims to strengthen security measures, because the American authorities receive your information even before you arrive on American soil.
ESTA travel authorization is granted by the Department of Homeland Security who will verify your information against their databases. The ESTA application is an online form. The entire process is done online and the document is very reasonably priced.
If your ESTA authorization is granted, it means that your trip does not pose a threat to the security of the United States and is not in violation of U.S. law.
The American visa
However, if your ESTA application is denied, you will need to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy. There are all kinds of visas, if you want to work in the United States, study in an American university or visit the United States for more than three months, the document to apply for will not be the same. This is a rather long, complex and much more expensive administrative process. In fact, on average, it costs a minimum of $160 USD to obtain a visa. The ESTA is therefore the right way to receive an authorization quickly and in a much more accessible way.
Fill out the ESTA form correctly
Registration for ESTA travel authorization can only be done online. There are French websites that can grant you an official ESTA travel authorization after filling out a form and paying a fee for your application. The ESTA can also be obtained on the official website of the American government if you prefer to complete this formality without assistance. The form is relatively simple to fill out, but care must be taken. With ESTA, it has never been easier to travel to the USA.
Once the form is filled out and the payment is made, all you have to do is wait for the answer. Since the ESTA travel authorization is a fast-track authorization, you have the option of applying for ESTA travel authorization up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure date. You will receive a response from the U.S. authorities no later than 72 hours after your request.
When you apply online, you pay online. The validation of your ESTA authorization request is effective as soon as you pay the amount of your order with your credit card directly on the private site. The price includes a two-year validity period.