How to apply for ESTA?

The ESTA USA is a travel authorization allowing certain tourists to travel to the United States for a period set by the US government. This authorization allows many travelers with a valid passport to visit the United States of America without going through the classic visa application.

In this article, find out if you are entitled to apply for ESTA with a view to traveling to the USA and how to proceed to obtain it as soon as possible.

Who can apply for ESTA to go to the USA?

Travel to the United States
Travel to the United States

Before discovering the ways in which it is possible to apply for ESTA, it is first important to know if you can benefit from it.

Indeed, conditions are required so that travelers are exempt from American visas. Here are the different eligibility criteria that tourists must meet to apply for an ESTA and travel to the USA:

  • have a passport (a biometric or electronic passport);
  • be a national of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program;
  • travel to the United States for a tourist stay, a business trip or a transit before your final destination;
  • plan a stay in the USA for a maximum of 90 days;
  • arrive on US soil by air or sea;
  • not pose a risk or threat to US homeland security.

The authorization was introduced to ensure national security under the VWP. ESTA is therefore one of the security measures put in place to know the identity and motivations of travelers even before they set foot on American territory. Find out now how to apply for ESTA.

Apply for ESTA to go to the USA: how to do it?

Applying for ESTA is quite simple, because the process does not require a trip to the American embassy and requires very little time, unlike a USA visa application.

To apply for an ESTA, you must complete an online form. The form to be completed (ESTA form) can be found on the official website of the US government. If you want help applying for the ESTA document, many private sites offer to collect your personal information, verify it, and submit it to US authorities on your behalf.

Whichever method is used, the information to be communicated to the US government relates to the traveler (personal information and passport data) as well as to their trip to the United States (local address and emergency contact).

It should be noted that the passport is very important in your ESTA application, so any entry error will be detected by the electronic systems. In addition, it is important that the passport used for your stay in the United States is the passport used during the ESTA application. In the event of a new passport, a new authorization request is required.

The return of the American authorities is made within 72 hours maximum. If you receive your ESTA, know that you can use it for the entire validity period of the document, that is to say two years or until the expiry of your electronic or biometric passport if it expires before.

Has your ESTA request been refused? There’s no point in panicking. Check that, during your ESTA authorization request, you have correctly filled in the fields of the form. The most common error concerns the passport number. If you notice a fault, the rejection of your solicitation is certainly due to this typo. In this case, wait 10 days before making a new ESTA request. You will, of course, have to repay the costs relating to your solicitation.

If you cannot apply for an ESTA document, it is possible to apply for a US visa from the consular services of the US Embassy.