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Traveling to the United States: How to Get an ESTA Authorization?

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Are you going to the United States to do tourism or for a business trip for less than 90 days? If the answer is yes, you may need to apply for an ESTA. All travelers, including minors and people who plan to go to the USA in transit, must complete a travel authorization. ESTA which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization is, as its name indicates, an electronic travel authorization issued by the US Government for the purpose of allowing travelers to stay in the United States.

Should Your Fill the ESTA Form if You already Hold a Visa?

This authorization was put in place under the Visa Waiver Program. In other words, anyone with an American VISA is not required to apply for it. It concerns all those who wish to stay in the United States without, indeed, to pass by the application for a classic Visa. It is not necessary to book the tickets or even to know the exact date of departure to make the request. You can take the steps online on a specific website as soon as you plan a trip to the USA. Please note that this request must be made at least 72 hours before the day of departure.

How much does an ESTA Visa Cost?

If you are from one of the 37 eligible countries like Germany, France, Spain, Greece, Taiwan, Singapore, etc., the ESTA cost is $ 14 on the official US Government website. Although, it will vary from € 20 to € 70 per traveler if you use another site that proposes support services and data corrections. The payment of this sum must be done online, directly on the site on which you make your request for the ESTA USA. The authorized means of payment are most often the credit card or Paypal. Once the payment is made, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and another e-mail with your authorization as an attachment. You just have to print it and it will remain valid for the two next years.

The Main Conditions for Obtaining an ESTA

  • Planning a stay of less than 90 days.
  • Being a national of an EPI beneficiary country (Visa Waiver Program).
  • Holding a valid passport issued in an EPI beneficiary country.
  • Having no antecedent with the Internal Security of the United States: repatriation measure, exceeding the duration of legal residence, etc.