The Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an information system for foreign nationals who wish to use the U.S. Visa Waiver Program to stay in the United States for a period of time. To take advantage of this privilege, which is valid for two years for business or leisure travelers wishing to visit America for a maximum of three months, the visitor must complete the ESTA form available online. This approach was implemented in 2009 and has been a great success for US lovers.
Who is able to fill out the online form?
The applicant must meet several conditions in order to travel to the USA with an ESTA. Here are the different criteria to be met in order to correspond to the profile of eligible travelers:
- be a national of one of the following 40 countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Taiwan;
- have an electronic passport or a biometric passport;
- Travel to the USA for tourism, business or transit before flying to another destination;
- arrive on American soil by air or sea;
- respect the 90 days maximum allowed by the ESTA.
Is your passport about to expire? Simply apply for a new passport before completing the online application. If you are planning to travel for another reason or for a longer period of time, it is not possible to acquire an ESTA, as you are not eligible. It is imperative to apply for a visa at the American embassy. If you check all the boxes, you can certainly receive the ESTA document for your trip to the United States.
Presentation of the ESTA travel form for travel to the United States
When filling out the travel authorization form for the USA, we must provide several types of information. The first type of data you will need to enter is the applicant’s personal information: last name, first name, date and place of birth, etc. The second type of information concerns passport data. The third one is the itinerary of your stay in the United States (place of residence during your stay in the USA and emergency contact). The last type of information concerns your health, your criminal record, etc.
Even if this questionnaire seems easy to fill out, it is very important to be very careful when filling it out because in case of non-conforming data related to the passport or other information, you risk being refused entry into the United States.
The different websites to fill out the ESTA authorization questionnaire
If you wish to travel to the United States and you meet the eligibility requirements for the ESTA, you should know that several websites offer to obtain this document. Whatever your choice, a credit card is essential to pay your order and receive your ESTA authorization as soon as possible.
When the ESTA form is fully validated, you only have to wait 72 hours to receive a response from the American authorities. If you receive an authorization, you are allowed to visit the United States several times during two years (if the passport used remains the same).
It is interesting to know that an ESTA allows you to reach customs in the United States, but it is also possible that the agents will refuse you access to the country if you seem to represent a danger to homeland security.
Issuance of the ESTA document via a private site
Many private websites offer to apply for ESTA authorization on behalf of people wishing to travel to the USA. The principle is simple: you provide them with some essential information such as your name, first name, passport number. Then, a team accustomed to carrying out requests will complete your request and will verify each data provided. These sites are also able to keep your ESTA number in case you lose it throughout the validity of the ESTA (two years).
Obtaining the ESTA document from the official website of the American government
Of course, you can apply for your ESTA authorization by logging on to the U.S. government website. The form is translated into several languages.