The Visa policies of the U.S. is getting a lot of publicity in the news. Traveling to the U.S. from abroad can be quite a stressful matter. After deciding on where to go & the cost, travelers must then apply for a visa which can take up to eight months in some cases. Not all travelers need to deal with the hassle of applying for a Visa and instead can apply for ESTA.
What is an ESTA?
ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation was developed to ensure that tourists and business persons were able to access the country quicker, as well as enhancing the security procedures in the US by pre-screening applicants.
Benefits of ESTA
Compared to a visa, the ESTA is extremely less time consuming, with applications being completed online. The average time for completion is around 30 minutes. To apply, you must be from an eligible country and have an electronic passport.
Once you have completed the ESTA application, you will receive an email notifying you if the authorisation has been granted or not within 72 hours, although, this usually only takes a few minutes.
Once the ESTA has been granted it will be valid for two years and in that two-year period, you may travel to the US as many times as you wish, providing that you do not stay in the US for more than 90 days per trip.
Connecting flights and ESTA
Those that have connecting flights that involve the US, for example, flights from Manchester to Santiago, via New York City will need an ESTA, even if the end destination is not the US. The reason is simple. Anybody flying via the US on a connecting flight is deemed to be entering the US, therefore it would be vital to obtain an ESTA.
Useful information About ESTA
If an ESTA has been granted, this does not guarantee that you will be allowed into the country. Border officers maintain the right to decide who can or cannot enter the US.
If an ESTA is rejected, applicants must apply for a visa.
When traveling to the US, you may be asked to provide detailed information showing that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your trip.
- Josh and Sophie
Founders of www.estaform.org