What is an ESTA and Who Requires It?

What is an ESTA

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is the name of an official program that involves the screening of applicants who have indicated an interest in entering the United States of America.

Applicants who are eligible for an ESTA can be allowed entry without acquiring a visa for the United States.

The ESTA was established under the visa waiver program of the United States Federal Government. The ESTA program applies to applicants who plan to enter the United States by air or sea.

Applicants for the ESTA waiver must first ascertain that they are eligible before completing the application.

How Long is the ESTA Valid?

When granted, the ESTA is valid for a period of two years. The holders of an ESTA must ensure that it is valid before they travel.

In the event of an expiry, after two years, the ESTA can be renewed, and the applicants’ information is updated on the system to validate the ESTA.

It is also mandatory for applicants to update their ESTA profile with the United States government if any of the following situations apply in their case. For example, a change of citizenship, change of name, change of gender, or possession of a new passport.

Who is Eligible for ESTA?

People from the countries considered under the Visa Waiver Program are eligible to apply for ESTA.

The ESTA is awarded to adults and infants. This means that adults who plan to apply for the ESTA must include the details of their children in the application.

How to Apply for an ESTA

The process of obtaining an ESTA is significantly easier than applying for a visa to enter the United States. For this reason, many people prefer to apply for an ESTA instead of scheduling a visa appointment for an interview.

Application for an ESTA can be done online. It is important to follow the directions to avoid mistakes, which can invalidate an application for ESTA.

Please note that the requirements for an ESTA application are different from the requirements for a United States visa application.

Applicants who decide to apply for ESTA must acknowledge the following…

  • People who visit the United States with an ESTA must not stay in the country longer than ninety days.
  • ESTA applications will only be considered for applicants who wish to visit the United States for tourism, business, or seek entry during transit.
  • Applicants must schedule their travel plans to enter the United States via air or sea.

It should also be noted that holders of an ESTA will be screened by the United States immigration and border control officers to ascertain that they have a genuine reason to enter the United States. This is done to prevent people with a criminal history or others who have been declared fugitives from entering the United States.

Averagely, the applications for ESTA are mostly successful, and the applicants do not encounter any problems while visiting.

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