If you are planning to travel to the United States in the near future, remember that you must have a valid travel document. U.S. authorities take their country’s homeland security very seriously. Do you need to apply for a US tourist visa or can you benefit from an ESTA.
To obtain your ESTA in a few minutes, simply click on the online form.
Below we detail how to obtain the ESTA so that you can determine if you are eligible.
The 1st ESTA requirement is the Visa Waiver Program
The first ESTA requirement is your nationality. Those eligible for ESTA are nationals of countries that are members of the Visa Waiver Program. This program has been evolving since its inception and is regularly adding participating countries to the list of member countries.
The following is a list of countries that are members of the Visa Waiwer Program:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia (since 2021), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland (since 2019), Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK.
If your country appears in this list, you meet the first ESTA requirement.
Please note: One of the ESTA requirements specifies that travelers who have visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia or Yemen since 2011 are not eligible for ESTA authorization, even if they are nationals of a VWP member country.
The 2nd ESTA condition is the reason and the duration of the stay
One of the criteria of the ESTA is the reason for the stay in the USA. The ESTA is only available if you are traveling to the United States for tourism or business purposes, but also for simple transit through the USA. If you are planning to go to the USA to work or study, you must contact the American embassy in your country. You need a US tourist visa or a work visa.
The duration of your stay in the USA is also part of the ESTA requirements. Your stay must be for a maximum of 90 days. Beyond this limit, ESTA authorization is no longer an available option and you must apply for a B2 visa at the U.S. consulate.
Of course, if you want to expatriate to the United States, an ESTA application will not be of any use to you. You must apply for an immigrant visa in order to obtain a Green Card.
The 3rd modality for the ESTA is to have a valid passport
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is an authorization that will be electronically associated with your passport. In order to complete this ESTA procedure, the applicant must have a biometric passport or an electronic passport.
In addition, you must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months longer than the start of your trip to the USA.
The 4th ESTA requirement is to have access to the Internet
The entire process is done online via the Internet. One of the ESTA requirements is to have access to an internet connection and an email address.
To apply, you must go to the Custom and Border Protection Department website or use the services of a private provider who will do the application for you. All you have to do is fill out the ESTA form in several parts.
- The first concerns your personal data;
- The second part asks for information about your stay in the United States of America
- The last part is a closed-ended questionnaire about your criminal record, your health status or your possible membership in a terrorist group or organization.
You must also pay the management fees of your file by paying by credit card. You now know the requirements to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and to apply for ESTA.
To travel to the United States with an ESTA you must:
- Be a national of a VWP member country
- Going to the USA for tourism or business
- Do not stay more than 90 consecutive days in the USA
- Have a biometric or electronic passport
- Have access to an internet connection and a credit card
Lastly, an ESTA is valid for two years within the validity of your passport. You can use the same ESTA for multiple trips to the United States during this period. You will have to reapply after the two years, or if your passport expires before then. A new application is also required if your personal information changes during the validity period.