How to fill out the ESTA questionnaire correctly?

Are you getting ready to spend your next vacation across the Atlantic and visit the United States? Whether you’re going on a trip to New York or a road trip through the American West, there are certain formalities you need to take care of before you leave and embark on your adventure.

Among other things, you must apply for a USA ESTA visa, also called ESTA authorization! If you are eligible for this program, which allows you to travel without a visa, you will need to fill out the ESTA questionnaire. Ideally, as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours before your departure. Denials are rare, but if you are not granted permission, you will need to reapply 10 days after the denial or turn to the U.S. Embassy for a visa application.

The request for authorization is in the form of an online form, available only on the Internet. In order to avoid any disappointment, we present this questionnaire for the United States in detail.

Filling out the online application form is not rocket science. However, the U.S. government website indicates that it takes about 20 minutes to complete the ESTA questionnaire. Make sure you have a passport on hand. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Who is the US questionnaire for?

Before you start filling out the questionnaire for the United States, it is important to remember the eligibility requirements for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

  • Possess a valid biometric or electronic passport, valid for the entire stay in the United States;
  • not to stay for more than 90 consecutive days;
  • travel to the United States by air or sea using a company approved by the American authorities;
  • be a citizen of one of the 40 member countries of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for the United States;
  • travel for tourism, business or transit purposes.

Do you check all these criteria? Don’t wait any longer to fill out your ESTA questionnaire!

The ESTA questionnaire and its multi-part form

Whether you apply on the official U.S. government website or on a private website, the questions asked will be much the same. The ESTA form consists of four separate parts. English is not your strong point? Don’t worry, for your ESTA application, the questions are in French.

The first one concerns your personal information, the one on your passport: last name, first name, gender, date and place of birth, country of origin, nationality and contact information. All of this information allows the Department of Homeland Security to know the identity of people wishing to travel to the United States.

Note for married women: your last name on your ESTA must be the same as the one on your passport. If you have not had your passport renewed since you were married, you will need to provide your maiden name. The family names must be consistent on both documents

Then comes the second part concerning the information specific to your passport. You will be asked to provide your passport number, date of issue and expiration date.
This section is followed by a third part asking for information about your stay in the United States (address and contact information). If you have not yet booked your hotel or are planning a road trip, no problem, these fields are not mandatory to hope to step on American soil.

Finally, you will be asked a series of “yes or no” questions about your health and your legal history. These questions allow the U.S. government to determine whether or not you pose a threat to the country’s internal security. It is advisable to answer “no” to all these questions, but in any case, be as honest as possible when filling out the ESTA questionnaire. Making a false statement could cause you harm and the United States could ban you for life from entering its territory.
Once you have completed the form, you will be required to pay a processing fee. The status of your ESTA will be transmitted within 72 hours (ESTA granted, ESTA pending or ESTA denied).

Can a third party complete an ESTA form?

Any individual wishing to travel to the United States must have prior travel authorization. This obligation applies to both adults and children. Just as a minor must have his or her own valid passport, a baby or child must have an ESTA in his or her name, even if he or she is not capable of applying for it on his or her own.

The American system is well established since the ESTA form allows you to make several requests in one! For a family trip of four, for example, the parents can apply for an ESTA for their child at the same time as their own. It is a particularly appreciable saving of time which leaves more to the preparation and the organization of the trip to the USA.
Similarly, travelers with mental health issues may not be able to complete the questionnaire themselves and may require the assistance of a third party. The responsible person must then check the box provided for this purpose.

Don’t forget that you can print your ESTA if you want to make sure that you won’t encounter any problems at the American immigration.