Differences between ESTA and visa: Put an end to your doubts and confusions

ESTA has nothing to do with the visa. It is a foreign document required on his arrival in a territory. Thus, as part of a trip to the USA, the request for the obtention of the document is done at the American Embassy. But the ESTA can replace visa. This is an authorization to travel performed via the developed American government platform. The system is linked to the Visa Waiver Program, effective since January 12, 2009, and therefore applicable only to the travelers that holds a passport from one of the 38 countries of the program.


The visa concerns all citizens of the country. Whether for a tourist, business or to study trip, the visa is needed to travel to America. In the case of ESTA authorization, the reason for the trip must be for tourism or professional business. Let’s talk about the length of stay. ESTA authorization allows you to stay in the United States for a period of 90 days. Moreover, there are different types of visas, depending on trip purpose. For example, a short-stay visa is used for a stay that is less than 90 days and a long-stay visa is required for a stay exceeding 90 days.

The validity of an ESTA authorization is two years from the date on which it was accepted. However, the validity of the visa is up to 10 years or more, depending on the circumstances. Regarding costs, the amount relating to the application online for a visa usa is much higher than the ESTA. Finally, note that if you hold a valid visa for the USA, it will not be necessary to request an application for an ESTA travel usa.