There are many reasons why people travel to the United States. For some, it’s a place they’ve always dreamed of visiting; for others, it might be a place where their family originally came from. Regardless of your reason for wanting to visit America, you’ll need an ESTA Visa to do so. This program is also known as the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA. It’s important that you understand how this ESTA visa application works and what it takes to obtain one before you make any plans to go.
What Is the US ESTA Visa?
This visa is issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and allows citizens from certain countries to enter into the U.S. by air without being detained at a port of entry. If you plan on traveling to the U.S. by land, sea or cruise ship, you will still need an ESTA. However, if you plan only to fly in and out of the country, you’re not required to apply for this visa.
Taking the visa is the most common activity among the people these days. People love to go to the foreign countries as they are the good source of the earning. For this a person can plan to take the esta visa service and then work on the act. In the long run the visa will give several benefits to the people so that they can reach the goals.
Although the exact process for obtaining an ESTA varies depending upon which country you come from, there are several requirements that must be met before you can even apply. You will first need to confirm that you are eligible to receive one. In order to qualify, you have to meet one of the following criteria:
– You were born in one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
– You have traveled to the U.S. within the last five years
– You have been granted citizenship by the U.S.
– Your parents/legal guardians are U.S. citizens
The next step is to complete an online application form available through DHS – either on the agency’s website or directly from its official partner websites. All forms are available in multiple languages, including Spanish and French. Once you submit your information, you’ll then wait for approval. When you receive notification that your application has been approved, you will receive your ESTA number. Your number will be valid for two years and can be used once every 90 days.
How to Use Your ESTA Number
When you receive your ESTA number, it is good for two years and you can use it once every 90 days. To begin using your ESTA number, you will need to print your receipt and bring it with you when you arrive at your U.S. destination. You will also need to fill out a customs declaration form and attach it to your ESTA receipt. For more details on using your ESTA card, read our article on how to use an ESTA visa here.
Who Needs an ESTA Visa?
Anyone who wants to enter the United States by air without going through a traditional border checkpoint needs to apply for an ESTA visa. While anyone can apply, this visa is most often given to tourists, business travelers, students and those who wish to visit friends and family. It may also be issued to individuals who have applied for permanent residency or citizenship through an immigration petition.
Can Anyone Apply For an ESTA Visa?
Yes! Any citizen of the United States or permanent resident who meets one of the above criteria is eligible to apply for an ESTA visa.
Are There Any Exceptions?
As mentioned above, there are several exceptions to the general rule that everyone can apply for an ESTA. One example would be if someone is seeking political asylum. Another exception could be if someone is planning to stay in the U.S. for longer than six months. If someone falls under one of these categories, they will need to provide evidence that they fall under one of these exceptions to obtain an ESTA.
What Kind Of Evidence Do I Need To Provide When Applying?
Each applicant will need to provide different types of proof when applying for an ESTA. These documents will vary based on each individual situation. Here is a list of possible documentation that you may need to provide:
– A passport
– Birth certificate
– Marriage license
– Social security card
– Passport cover page or affidavit
– Driver’s license
– Employment record
– Insurance policy
– Health insurance policy
– School records
– Medical exam certificate
– Military discharge papers
– Police records
– Immigration records
– Citizenship records
– Criminal background check
– Other relevant documents
What If My Application Is Denied?
If your application is denied, you will need to follow the instructions provided and resubmit your application. You will also be able to appeal this decision. You can take action against this decision by filing an administrative complaint with the Secretary of State.
Is An ESTA Always Required For Everyone?
No, an ESTA is not necessary for all travelers. If you are a member of one of the groups listed above, you will need to apply for an ESTA. However, if you belong to none of the above groups, your chances of getting an ESTA are much higher. That said, there are other ways that you can get around having to obtain an ESTA. We have an article detailing the various options that are available to those who don’t fit into the “eligible” category.
Does The ESTA Requirement Change?
Yes. As of January 11th, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has implemented a new system that requires electronic authorization for all nonimmigrant international visitors arriving by air, bus, train or boat. This change was made due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.