What is an ESTA Visa?

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An Electronic System for Travel Authorization, also called an ESTA, is a part of what is called the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and is what determines if people are eligible to travel into the United States from other countries. The Visa Waiver Program gives foreigners permission to travel to the US for a maximum period of 90 days without needing to get a visa. You can only apply for an ESTA through the VWP if you are from certain participating countries.

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Although someone may have received authorization through ESTA that does not mean that they will be allowed to enter the US. That decision is determined by Border Control and US Customs when they arrive in the US. If Border Control and US Customs determine that someone is ineligible to enter the US, they will be ordered to return to their home country.

 

Anyone wishing to travel to the US has to fill out an ESTA visa application and pay a processing fee of $4 to submit their application. If the application is approved, they will be charged an additional fee of $10. It is recommended that you submit your application at least 72 hours before your travel date, though it is wise to submit the application much sooner than that, such as when you begin your travel plans but before you purchase your airline tickets.

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Approved authorizations are good for a period of 2 years from the date you receive authorization, or until the date on which your passport expires, whichever date comes first. If you know you will need to travel to the US in the near future, you can go ahead and apply for the ESTA visa even if you don’t have an exact travel date in mind. You must use the same passport to travel with that you used to apply for your authorization. If you get a new passport, you must submit a new application with the new passport’s information. If, for some reason, you are denied authorization, but you still want to travel to the US, you can go to the website for the United States Department of State to find out how to apply for a visa.

 

There are requirements for being able to apply for admittance to the US through the Visa Waiver Program. To be eligible you must have plans to travel to the US for a period of no more than 90 days. You must also have a valid passport that has been issued by a participating VWP country. You must have received ESTA approval and you must have a ticket to either return home or continue your travel to somewhere else. You also must be a citizen of one of the participating VWP countries.

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The requirements don’t end there. You also have to convince the officers of Border Protection that you have a right to be admitted into the US through the VWP. You also have to waive your rights of an appeal if it is found that you will not be permitted to enter the US. As you are being processed to enter the US, your photograph and fingerprints will be taken as a reaffirmation that you waive your right to an appeal. It must not be thought that you will be any kind of a threat to the US