How to fill out the ESTA form to travel to the USA?

The ESTA is mandatory for all persons wishing to travel to the United States. This is an electronic travel authorization system linked to the passport number, allowing for a tourist or business stay of up to 90 days. To obtain it and make your trip to the USA, you must apply for authorization to the American authorities via the ESTA form. The applicant must meet all requirements such as being a citizen of a member country of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, possessing a round trip airline ticket and a biometric or electronic passport.

The trip, by air or sea, must be made with a company recognized by the USA. The application for authorization must be submitted as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours before boarding. As a reminder, a ESTA authorization does not replace a U.S. visa. However, a traveler with a valid visa for the USA does not need to fill out an ESTA form in order to travel to the United States.

What is the purpose of the ESTA AUTHORIZATION?

Previously, to travel to the USA, travelers had to apply for a visa. There are several depending on the reasons for your trip, for tourism, work or study. This formality requires long procedures and a certain budget. Since 2009, the authorities have chosen to implement an online application for authorization for :

  1. promote tourism to the U.S. while strengthening U.S. homeland security;
  2. simplify the administrative procedures for applicants thanks to the ESTA form, form online form, which is quick and easy to use;
  3. to relieve the American embassies and consulates since the ESTA form form is available online.

The data contained in the the ESTA form

Before applying, it is important to verify that you are eligible for the VWP (Visa Waiver Program). Are you a national of one of the 40 countries covered by the scheme? Do you have a valid passport? Are you traveling to the US for less than 90 days? If the answer to all these questions is yes, you can apply for ESTA.

The ESTA application consists of filling out an online form, the ESTA form, from the government website or through a private website offering to limit the risks of refusal by proceeding to the meticulous verification of the data provided.

The ESTA form is divided into three sections, the first of which consists of identifying the traveler and his/her passport. Check the expiration date carefully, if it is no longer valid on the date of your departure, you must apply for a new passport. The second part concerns the questions/answers related to the traveler’s intentions during his stay in the USA. As for the third part of the formIt contains all the information about the stay in the United States. You must specify where you intend to stay for example.

It should be noted that the ESTA authorization must be renewed if the traveler changes his or her passport (due to a lost or expired passport) or his or her identification data (e.g. gender, name or home address). Let’s take the example of a woman who applied for ESTA before getting married. If the passport has since been updated with her married name and no longer mentions her maiden name, a new ESTA form will have to be filled out.

The other reason why people need to renew their electronic travel authorization is because it is out of date. An ESTA is valid for 2 years.

It is important to know that this renewal is not free of charge, as it requires a new verification work. Again, be careful when filling the ESTA formform, because even if you have receivedauthorization even if you received the authorization the first time, it does not guarantee that you will receive it again.

Remains to be seen on the ESTA form

ESTA authorization granted

Once the authorization is granted, you are authorized to enter the United States by air, land or sea. No need to print your ESTA authorization. The ESTA form can only be filled out online and is electronically linked to your passport. At the customs control, the reading of your electronic or biometric passport reveals your authorization.

ESTA authorization rejected

If your application has been rejected, you are obliged to apply to the consular services (American consulate or embassy) to obtain a USA visa. Since the ESTA application is processed immediately and automatically, there is no possibility of cancelling the application even if errors were made when filling out the form. In this case, you must submit a new ESTA form that will cancel the old one.