The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) or ESTA is an intelligence system operated by the Department of Homeland Security United States for beneficiaries travelers Visa Waiver Program (Visa Waiver Program, VWP). The platform is available for free on the Internet since January 12, 2009 and is an effective way to filter the nationals of VWP in order to enhance security.
How to apply for ESTA?
Travelers will visit the web site and then fill out the ESTA form online before finalizing their application for travel authorization. On this form, the traveler must identify themselves, provide information and personal data, but also to answer questions about medical or criminal record. They refer to the criteria for admission to the United States. Note that the payment must be made online by travelers since September 8, 2010 After submitting the request, a response is normally given within hours or a few minutes. Nevertheless, it is advisable to apply in advance, at least 72 hours before departure. Also, the passport used as part of the journey to the United States must be a biometric passport, ePassport or a simple one but readable on a passport machine.
The requirements for an application for ESTA:
- Only travelers to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program will be eligible for ESTA.
- Once authorization is granted, it is valid for two years from the date it was issued or the date of expiry of the traveler’s passport if it expires before two years.
- ESTA authorization for tourist or business travel at a maximum stay of 90 days.
- The ESTA does not guarantee the travelling to the USA. It only allows you to travel on an airplane or a cruise ship to the United States.