Preparing your trip to the United States requires time, organization and a permit application. The implementation of the Visa Waiver Program has significantly changed the process for travel to the United States. Indeed, citizens of VWP (Visa Waiver Program) member countries are no longer required to apply for a visa for a short stay in the US for business, tourism or transit.
However, for security reasons, they must obtain the ESTA, Electronic System for Travel Authorization, before going to the United States. Other conditions are also required to enter the USA without a visa, especially concerning the passport or the air ticket.
Clarification of the ESTA USA
The only citizens who can benefit from the visa waiver and travel with ESTA are nationals of countries covered by the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA authorization is a travel document allowing travel by air or sea. This document is necessary to cross the U.S. territory for a short trip (90 days maximum). The reason for the trip in this case can be for business, tourism or transit.
Regarding the operation and usefulness of the system, the information provided in the online form is controlled by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration Services. If no unfavorable opinion results from the checks, then the authorization is granted and is valid for 2 years, or when the passport expires.
Procedure for obtaining the ESTA
To obtain the ESTA, the traveler must apply online via the official website or specialized websites. The response will be sent to the applicant no later than 72 hours after submission of the completed ESTA form. The ESTA can be used for two years (validity period of the document). The request is transmitted to the American authorities following payment by credit card. It should be noted that in case of refusal, the person concerned must apply for a US visa at the US embassy if he/she maintains his/her plan to travel to the US. Obtaining a US visa is a long and much more expensive process.
Requirements for admission to the United States
Obtaining the ESTA is not a necessary and sufficient condition to travel to the United States. In fact, it just allows free boarding on the plane or ship to the United States. Other formalities are required to be allowed to stay in the country. On the one hand, travelers without a visa must have a valid passport (electronic passport or biometric passport) and comply with security requirements: it can be biometric or electronic. On the other hand, the visitor must have a return ticket proving his intention to leave the country in time. And finally, since the reopening of the borders in 2022: the visitor must be completely up to date with his vaccinations against COVID 19.
Where to buy a plane ticket to go to the USA?
By using a travel agent, you have the possibility of accessing packages offering you both the flight and the hotel reservation for a tailor-made trip. If you are more likely to organize your trip alone, you will have to find plane tickets that correspond to your dates and a hotel or apartment according to your desires. You must apply for ESTA before purchasing your round-trip airline tickets for travel to the United States.
Our advice to travelers to find a cheap air ticket: there are more and more airlines on the market (XL Airways, Air France, British Airways …), so it is difficult to choose one. To help you, go to a comparison site, indicate your airport of origin and arrival in the United States, the dates of travel, as well as your desire to benefit from a direct flight or not, then click on validate. Wait a few seconds, the site will compare the different prices of all airlines. This way, you will know the best rates to go to the USA. Please note that if you wish to take hold luggage in addition to your hand luggage, additional fees may apply on top of the price depending on the airline.