Most of us know that an ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization is necessary to be able to travel legally in the United States. But what is it exactly? If you have some questions about the procedure, you will find essential information relating to USA ESTA in this article.
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What is USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization?
ESTA is the electronic automated travel authorization system used by the American government through its Department of Homeland Security. It allows them to validate the eligibility of citizens from countries benefiting from the Visa Waiver Program or VWP. This special program exempts 37 specific countries from the traditional visa for any entry on the American soil, whether for tourist, medical, business or stopover purposes. If you intend to work, to live permanently or to study in the USA, you will not benefit from the USA visa waiver. Instead, you will have to apply for a standard visa.
Applying for a USA ESTA
To apply for an ESTA, you must go to the official website, submit a request by filling out the form, and carefully check the information, confirm the payment and wait for the confirmation of your ESTA. Once your application has been validated, take care, just as a precaution, to print it and carry it with you during your trip. It is not mandatory because when your request is accepted, you can travel freely in the USA and in the territories that are part of the country such as: Porto Rio, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, the Republic of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands of the United States.
The validity period of a USA ESTA is two years. However, if your passport expires before these two years, you will be asked to reapply again. Also remember that each stay must not exceed 90 days. Be careful to respect this deadline so as not to compromise your future requests. The processing time is generally 24 hours, but it would be ideal to fill your USA ESTA application at least 72 hours before your flight. The processing fee is $ 4 and when your electronic travel authorization is approved, you must pay an additional $ 10 depending on your payment method. In case of refusal, you will only be billed the $ 4 processing fee. Normally, the price of an ESTA is then $14. Thus, the total amount depends on the number of travelers.