Published on : 08 November 20194 min reading time
If you wish to travel to the United States, it is mandatory to obtain a valid visa. Some countries benefit from facilities to obtain an ESTA travel authorization in order to facilitate traffic flow at the airport and to facilitate the procedures for immigration officers in the United States.
How to make an ESTA request on the internet?
If you wish to travel to the United States for purely tourist purposes, you must apply for an ESTA. This visa, whose procedures have been facilitated, allows you to travel freely within the United States for 90 days. If your profile does not have any particularities, you can make your request at least 72 hours before your departure. Most profiles are validated in only a few hours. If you want more information about the USA visa, click here.
To receive an ESTA authorization, you can visit the dedicated US government website, now available in several languages. If this is your first request, you will first need to provide your personal information. You will be asked for your contact information, your passport number or your parents’ names and contact information. Once you have given this information, you will need to say more about your trip and where you will stay during your stay.
Before validating your request, you will need to verify all your information. At the end of the process, you will have to pay a $14 fee for the issuance of your visa. You do not have to pay more, unless you go through an intermediary. Your American visa will take a few hours to a few days to be approved and you can fly.
How does it work in the United States?
An approved ESTA authorization does not mean that you have acquired the right to enter the United States. Before you can enjoy your stay, you must first pass the immigration officers’ checks. Recently, these controls have been significantly improved to reduce waiting time at the airport.
On landing, you will be directed by a screening officer to automatic machines that will analyse your identity. All you must do is scan your passport, give your fingerprints and let the machine take your picture. If all the information is validated, you will have to join a queue to see your passport stamped by immigration officers.
During the examination, the agent may ask you about your previous trips or the reasons for your trip. If you answer calmly and politely, the risk of being side-lined for further questioning is minimal. Allow about an hour to pass through immigration services with an ESTA USA.
What should I do if I have a pending authorization?
ESTA authorization procedures are normally faster than for obtaining a traditional US visa. However, it may happen that your request is still pending a few days or hours before your departure. This situation is not necessarily worrying and happens regularly even if your profile does not present any difficulty.
A request may take a long time for several reasons. The authorities always check your background with the country, especially if you have been refused a request in the past for various reasons. In some cases, additional checks may be carried out at random. This does not mean that your application will be rejected.
The administration has a maximum of 72 hours to provide you with an answer regarding your ESTA. For this reason, it is not recommended to start the day before your departure, in case you are on the list of controlled arrivals. Once your application has been accepted, it remains valid for two years. Please note, however, that you may not spend more than 90 consecutive days in the United States. But it is quite possible to be away for a few weeks and come back. This is a visa that may be convenient if you plan to cross the Canadian or Mexican border during your trip.