WHAT IS ESTA APPLICATION?

The USA is a popular destination for travelers, tourists and business people. Usually, foreign guests need a visa to enter the country, but for travelers from 39 countries, there is an alternative way to obtain permission to enter the United States under the Visa-Free Entry Program. These travelers can apply for an ESTA, which gives them the right to enter the United States. But what is an ESTA?

WHAT IS ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION?

ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization is a simplified online application procedure for travelers from individual countries that have an agreement with the United States. Currently, 39 countries participate in the VWP, and this number changes over time. Instead of going through a stressful visa procedure, you can get an ESTA permit fairly quickly. Who needs an ESTA? Persons from the countries participating in the VWP program need an entry permit before boarding a plane or ship to the United States.

The Ministry of Internal Security is the administrative body that regulates the issuance of ESTA permits under the visa-free program. The countries included in the program have passed the stage of partnership with the US administration and have a low level of risk assessment. Obtaining an ESTA, however, does not mean automatic admission to the country. Currently, travelers must check government pages about the right of entry due to the rules and the status of COVID-19. This information is updated weekly, but may change from day to day.

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HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

Who needs an ESTA? Travelers planning a trip to the United States must fill out an ESTA form, but before visiting the ESTA page, you should check whether you meet the necessary criteria. For example, the purpose of your trip should be personal, transit or business, which does not include job search.

Your visit should be limited to 90 days, and you should not apply if you already have a valid US visa. Before you start answering the detailed ESTA questionnaire, you should know all the information that should be in English. Each traveler will have to fill out a separate ESTA application.

The best time to apply for an ESTA is at least 72 hours before boarding a plane or ship in the United States. However, the usual time for reviewing an application by the US administration is three working days, so you should not buy a plane ticket until you receive approval for your application.

If you need to fly urgently, and your flight is earlier than in 72 hours, there is a chance that the US Customs and Border Protection service will consider the application before the deadline. In this case, you should check the ESTA status online to see if you have received approval.

To check the status of your application, you will need the ESTA application number. This is your unique non-transferable number. Your passport number and personal information are also required to log in to your account.

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR THE APPLICATION?

Let’s first look at what is an ESTA? The ESTA application is a very detailed online form. In addition to the basic personal data, you will have to provide information about your place of work, travel information and answer a number of clarifying questions. You will also have to provide information about social networks, which was optional until 2020. Now this information is mandatory. If you do not provide information about social networks, but you have had an active account for the last five years, your application will be rejected.

After you fill out the application, the US administration will consider it. What databases does the ESTA check? The Customs and Border Control Service will check various databases around the world. The terrorist screening database is one of the main points of verification. The administration will check the information repositories of the Department of Health and the CDC. Stolen and lost passports are also checked, as is the ESTA database in search of applicants who have been refused. CBP will check, in particular, the expedited expulsion and cancellation of visas.

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VISA AND ESTA

There are three categories of countries. The first category includes five countries that are exempt from visa programs. The second category includes countries included in the visa – free entry program that can visit the United States through ESTA, and the third category includes all other countries. They need a standard US visa.

You can get an ESTA through an online application, but to get a US visa, you need to visit the US Embassy and make an appointment. A standard visa has several purposes. For example, you can request a work, study or other types of visas. On the other hand, you can request an ESTA if you are visiting the country for tourist, business or transit purposes.

PASSPORT RESTRICTIONS

Not all travelers can apply for an ESTA. There are strict passport requirements for VWP. All passport documents that meet the requirements must have a digital chip with biometric information about the person. In addition, there should be a machine-readable zone on the biographical page of the passport.

Since 2016, all visitors under the ESTA program must use an electronic passport with the aforementioned electronic chip. This will help if you also have a digital photo, that is, the photo is printed, and not pasted on a biographical page.

FAQS

HOW LONG DOES ESTA LAST?

ESTA gives you the right to visit the United States for two years.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM LENGTH OF VISIT TO THE US WITH ESTA?

You can visit it an unlimited number of times and stay there for up to 90 days per visit.

HOW MUCH DOES ESTA COST?

You can visit the country an unlimited number of times and stay in it for up to 9 days, you pay 85 EUR for applying online, and if you fill out forms for your family members, you must pay a fee for each member.0 days per visit.

CAN SOMEONE ELSE CREATE MY ESTA APPLICATION?

Yes, another person can submit your application.

WHAT DO CHILDREN NEED TO TRAVEL?

All visitors need an ESTA. All ESTA applications are linked to passports, so children must have their own.

SUMMARY

The electronic system for obtaining an entry permit is convenient and allows you to quickly obtain an entry permit within three days. ESTA is created for travelers from countries included in the Visa-free Entry Program, and after obtaining a permit, it is valid for two years. You must provide personal information, social media accounts and answer numerous clarifying questions about your trip. Regardless of whether you are visiting the United States for tourist purposes, on a business trip or traveling in transit, you will need an ESTA. A travel permit will give you 24 months to visit the United States.

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