The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was established by the United States Government to pre-screen visitors prior to their boarding on airplane or ship bound for the United States. As of January 12, 2009, ESTA Travel Authorization must be held by any traveller entering the United States under the visa waiver program.
All non USA citizens are requiring a Visa or Electronic Travel Authority to entry USA. As the ESTA is an electronically stored authority to travel to USA it’s 100% electronic, and that’s the reason why it is totally accessible by USA border agencies, travel agents and airlines. For the visitor it’s good as well because you can travel to USA without having to physically go to a departmental office such as an official embassy or consulate to apply for the conventional paper visa.
The requirements are the following:
– Visitor has to be from one of the ESTA eligible’s countries.
– Visitor has to be physically outside USA when he or she is applying.
– Visitor’s trip to USA has to be either for tourism, seeing friends or family, or for short-term business.
– Business (Making general business or employment enquirie, going to seminars, trade fairs or conferences, etc.).
– Visitor’s passport has to be valid for 6 months from the day you access USA.
– Visitor can stay in USA for a maximum time of 3 months.
– Visitor must have had no major criminal convictions, in which visitor served more than 1 year in jail.
– Visitor must not have tuberculosis at the moment of travel into, and within, USA.
– Visitor is not allowed to work in the meantime he or she is in USA.
– Visitor can access USA all the times he or she wishes for a period of 12 months which starts on the date that the Esta is granted, or until visitor’s passport expires.
ESTA Eligible Countries
Only citizens from the following countries are eligible to apply for the submission of an online ESTA. If you are not a citizen of one of these countries you will have to contact the USA Mission related to the Visa department and apply for a Visitor Visa (subclass 600).
ESTA USA eligible countries:
|Netherlands||New Zealand||Norway||Poland||Portugal||San Marino|
The traveler can access USA as many times as he or she wishes for a period of 24 months which exactly starts on the date that your ESTA is granted, or until your passport expires. Anyway, visitor will be allowed to remain in USA for a maximum of 90 days on each stay.
Apply for an ESTA
ESTA authorization can be obtained by filling out an online form in a few minutes. In order to fill out the form, you will need a valid passport, the most important document. In addition, you will need the following documents:
- Valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival in the United States of America. Also, it must be issued by a country member of the Visa Waiver Program.
- National Identity Document (DNI), NIE or passport identifying the country.
- Other non-mandatory documents: present documents that demonstrate family ties outside the United States (example: family book) and that prove your good economic situation. These are always useful in case you have a problem entering the country.
ESTA approval is not a guarantee to enter the US. UU. The customs authorities that will not allow you to pass if they detect any inconvenience.
ESTA online form
If you want to travel to the United States of America, you must complete the ESTA online form. It is certainly a very quick and simple process. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: complete the form with your biographical data (name and surname, date of birth and nationality). In addition, a telephone number and an e-mail address must be included in order to receive the approval.
Step 2: You have to include your passport information and you have to answer a few security questions.
Step 3: the last step is the payment with your debit/credit card. Then, you will receive the approval shortly.
In conclusion, all the information required is about your basic biographical data and passport data. The process is easy.