Every year, several million travelers arrive at the U.S. border with their ESTA authorization. Like many countries around the world, the United States takes the security of its territory to heart by closely monitoring legal immigration. And in order to receive an ESTA visa, it is necessary to meet certain conditions.
What is the purpose of the ESTA visa for the United States?
The ESTA visa for the United States is an authorization that must be obtained before you can travel to Uncle Sam’s country. Although the term ESTA visa is often used, it is a misnomer because ESTA is a document that allows you to do without a visa.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, also known as ESTA, was created to make life easier for people wishing to travel to the USA. Indeed, it is very quick to obtain and the cost of the ESTA is much lower than that of a traditional visa. But its scope is limited to unpaid business travel and tourism. It is not recommended to obtain an ESTA visa if the trip to the land of excess does not fit into these criteria. Because in case of problems on the spot, the police and customs authorities are extremely severe in their treatment of illegal immigrants.
What are the requirements for obtaining an ESTA visa for the USA?
It is important to know the conditions for obtaining an ESTA visa for the USA because not everyone is eligible. Indeed, only nationals of the 40 member countries of the Visa Waiver Program are authorized to submit an ESTA visa application. You must also ensure that you meet the following criteria:
- As mentioned earlier, the trip must be for tourism or business purposes but without financial consideration;
- The passport used for travel must be electronic or biometric. Its period of validity must cover the entire duration of the stay;
- The trip should not be longer than 90 days;
- Finally, it is important to be able to make payments online because an official ESTA can only be obtained on the Internet.
How do I get an ESTA visa?
Now that you’ve made sure you meet all the requirements, it’s time to fill out the ESTA questionnaire. This questionnaire is divided into 3 parts where you will have to answer multiple questions related to your personal information (your name, first name, date and place of birth, etc.), the reasons for your trip or the information contained in your passport. It ends with a series of questions to be answered with “yes” or “no” regarding your health status, your criminal record, whether you plan to harm the country’s internal security (you are strongly advised to answer no to this one)…
Once the questionnaire is completed, we will forward it to the appropriate authorities. If you have done this step directly on the official website, you only need to pay the application fee and it will be directly transmitted to the agents in charge of its verification. If the answer is yes, you should know that the ESTA is valid for two years unless important information changes in the meantime (e.g. change of passport). Otherwise, there is no need to renew it during this period.
You will have understood after these explanations, to the question: do we need a visa for the USA? our answer is a big YES in view of its nature and its usefulness. If you still have questions about the ESTA visa? Do not hesitate to consult our ESTA FAQ.