Do you need an ESTA authorization to travel to the US?
esta-official.co.uk provides you with the necessary follow up and guidance in order to help you go easily through your ESTA request process. We make sure that you avoid any mistake that might influence the processing time of your authorization; therefore the preparation of your next trip to the United States is simple, easy and pleasant. We are at your disposal to answer all your questions.
Citizens of the countries targeted by the Visa Waiver Program can travel to the United States without a visa but will need an approved authorization before their departure.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a procedure for determining the eligibility of visitors who want to travel to the United States on a trip that doesn’t represent a risk to internal security.
We recommend that you apply for ESTA at any time but at least 72 hours before your trip to the US. Generally speaking, you will receive a response to your ESTA request within minutes.
It is important to know that ESTA is not a visa. The ESTA procedure and the ESTA price are different fom those of the visa
On January 12, 2009 ESTA became mandatory.
Approved applications remain valid for a period of 2 years or until the expiry of the passport. You can travel to the United States multiple times without making a request each time. Each stay authorized by an approved ESTA must not exceed 90 days and must be spaced a sufficient period of time to clearly show that you do not live in the United States.
In case the validity of the passport expires before the end of the 2-year period, you should apply for a new ESTA authorization with the new passport if you have travel plans to the US.
You must also apply for a new ESTA if you change your passport, name, gender, nationality or status.
For more information, visit our section “Your questions”.
American Visa, the different categories
The United States of America is a country with several visa categories depending on the reason for the visit and its duration, the most requested types of non-immigrant visas are:
B1 Visa: This is a temporary/non-immigrant American visa that allows visitors to enter the United States for business purposes; it is valid for up to six months and can be renewed once for a maximum period of six months. The types of activities covered by the US B1 visa include:
Consultation with clients or business partners.
Conferences, seminars or congresses.
Participation in negotiations or legal proceedings.
B2 visa: This is an American visitor visa that allows you to enter the United States for tourism, pleasure or to visit your friends or family. Holders of a B2 American tourist visa can engage in the following activities:
Holiday in the United States.
Tour in different cities in the United States.
Visiting your friends or family.
Participation in social activities organized by various organizations.
Visiting the United States for medical treatment.
Participation in events or contests related to music or sport, for which you will not receive payment.
Enroll in short-term study courses for which you will not receive credits (e.g., cooking courses).
C1 visa: This is an American visa reserved for immediate and continuous transit through the United States to a foreign country; the maximum period of stay is 29 days and interviews are not required for people under 13 or over 80 years old.
F1 visa: This is a full-time student visa issued to international students who are enrolled in an academic or English program at an American university or college. To obtain this visa, the student must maintain the minimum course load to obtain full-time student status.
You will need to contact the U.S. Embassy to prepare the application for your visa.
If you are travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program then the ESTA replaces the Visa, this electronic authorization lasts two years and allows you to travel to the United States several times in two years. ESTA is an additional security layer that helps the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine if the applicant is eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The ESTA authorization has several advantages over the Visa and remains the best alternative for easy and fast travel preparation.
When completing your ESTA form for travel to the United States, you will be asked to complete your biographical data such as name, date of birth and certain passport information. On the other hand, you will also be asked to fill in information about your international travel, any illnesses and any problems with the law. ESTA’s payment information will also be taken into consideration when you request authorization. All information provided must be accurate to avoid any problems during your departure or arrival in the USA.
When should I apply for ESTA authorization?
It is recommended to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure for the United States. In many cases the authorization is granted in a few hours but to reduce the risk of delay and to be sure of having your authorization in time, it is preferable to make the request at least 3 days before your trip.
Can my ESTA application be completed by another person (a friend or a family member)?
Yes, your ESTA application form can be completed by another person, just make sure that your information is correct to avoid any problems with your authorization.
Do I need to have an ESTA if I am flying to another country but flying over the US?
No, in this case you do not need to make an ESTA request.
I would be in Transit in the United States; would I have to apply for ESTA?
Yes, you will need to apply and answer “yes” to the existing question on the ESTA travel authorization form “Is your trip to the United States only a transit to another country? »
How many times does the ESTA permit allow me to enter the United States?
Once your authorisation is granted, you can travel to the United States as many times as you wish during the two-year validity period. ESTA allows you to stay in the USA for up to 90 days for each trip with a maximum of 180 days in a calendar year.
Do I need to have a printed copy of my ESTA travel authorization at the airport?
No, you are not required to print your ESTA authorization; the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) will be able to communicate the ESTA status of the passenger to the carriers. Travellers are still advised to make an impression of the response to ESTA’s request, this will allow them to keep the confirmation and retain the travel request number.
Groups of people who wish to travel to the U.S. for a maximum stay of 90 days can apply for a group ESTA that will also facilitate the management of their folders. Since it is quite possible for each traveller to make his own request, the grouped ESTA request allows only one person to be in charge of managing the file and requests, he will have to provide some mandatory information, such as family name, first name, date of birth and email address. The group contact person will have access to perform all management actions like:
See the request group
Check the status of requests
Make the payment
Modify the information
Add or remove requests within the group (a new request or an unpaid request)
Check the status of all responses in a group (a “Pending” response for a person in the group will not delay the processing of the remaining requests).
*The grouped application does not give place to a discount on the ESTA price
As of January 21, 2016, the United States government prohibits travel to the United States for persons who, since March 1, 2011, have been in or hold passports of one of the following countries:
In this case, it will be necessary to apply for a classic visa with the exception of:
People who have had an employment contract in one of these 7 countries.
For an official mission of a government, international or regional organization.
People who have worked for a humanitarian NGO in one of these 7 countries.
People who have worked as journalists in one of these 7 countries.
People who have travelled to Iraq and Iran for justified business purposes.
Reminder: To travel to the United States, each person must be in possession of an electronic or biometric passport. It is impossible to travel to the USA with a "Delphine" or emergency passport and it is mandatory to apply for a visa.
On the one hand, if you have dual nationality and you do not have a passport from another country, don’t worry! Complete the travel authorization application form in a regular manner and leave the “Passport Number” field blank. On the other hand, if you have several passports, you must enter the information of the most […]
The ESTA is canceled once your current passport expires or if any of the information on it changes. In this case, you are called upon to make a new request and go through the same procedure including payment. For more information about the data you can change after submitting your request, please see the article […]
The website provides access for applicants to reconfirm the passport number, correct and review their data before validating the application. You have the possibility to modify and correct all the data fields of the request, this of course before validating your request with all the necessary information for payment. You have the possibility to change […]
A USA visa is a document that meets the legal and regulatory requirements of the United States; persons holding a valid visa will only be able to travel to the United States for the purpose for which the visa was issued and are exempt from applying for an approved travel authorization (ESTA) when travelling.Since ESTA does not meet the legal criteria, it cannot be considered a Visa.