A strong feeling of insecurity has reigned in the United States since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Immigration is at the heart of all political debates and the government’s position varies from one administration to another. Trump, the current President of the United States, is in favor of tightly controlled immigration. What New Security Measures Are Taken by US Homeland Security? Was ESTA created to strengthen protective measures?


Whoever the government is, there has never been any question of the United States closing its borders completely. Travelers and immigrants are welcome, under certain conditions. To control immigration flows, the authorities rely on several protection measures which are: secure passport, ESTA and visa.


A secure passport is the easiest protection measure to follow. By secure passport, the American government understands electronic passport or biometric passport. In France, the electronic passport was put into circulation in May 2006 before being replaced by the biometric passport in June 2009. Thus, all current French passports comply with American requirements.

The traveler wishing to go to American soil must be in possession of a valid passport. When you are about to obtain travel documents, check the passport expiration date beforehand.


For transits and stays of less than 90 days, the United States has implemented the ESTA electronic travel authorization. This travel document, valid for 2 years, is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allowing nationals of the 38 participating countries to travel to the USA without a visa.

Before the establishment of ESTA, no travel authorization was requested. Of course, the American authorities could not continue this way and decided to implement ESTA to help guarantee the national security of the United States while encouraging tourism.

Since the ESTA authorization is a protective measure, obtaining it is of course subject to the condition:

The ESTA request, to enter American territory, does not require contacting the American Embassy. It is done on the Internet only by filling in an online form. The online application can be found on the official website of the United States government. A simplified form is also available on private sites, such as that of our partner.

Once again, check the validity date of your identity document before applying for ESTA, as the two documents are linked electronically. ESTA was established to screen travelers before they board the United States. If the documents do not match, Customs will refuse access to the country of destination.

ESTA is compulsory for arrivals by air or sea. Travel to the USA by land does not require ESTA, but requires cars to also pass through customs. The entry formalities for crossing the land border of the United States require the traveler to complete the l-94 W form beforehand and pay a tax of 6 USD on site.


Unlike ESTA, which covers tourist stays as well as business trips, the request for a temporary stay visa is based on the type of stay in the United States planned: tourist visa, student visa, work visa, etc.

For expatriation, a resident card can also be requested if the candidate has an American sponsor. The permanent residence card is better known as the green card or green card. It is also obtained in different ways depending on the type of request: the green card by marriage, by work or even the green card lottery.

The visa application is made to the US Embassy or the consulate.

The pressure from the US government is very strong with regard to visas and the green card lottery is a bit of the bane of D. Trump. The latter wishes to favor qualified immigration and relies on numerous security measures to ensure the defense of American territory.

A visa request requires that the traveler’s passport be valid for another 6 months after the date of stay.


Illegal immigration is the backbone of the Trump administration. The mention of a wall at the Mexican border as a reinforced security measure against illegal immigration continues to make the headlines.

The establishment of detention camps at the American borders, under cover of security measures, has also shaken American and international public opinion.

Among the security measures employed by the American authorities, we also count on the use of an electronic bracelet, evictions and the frequent use of the services of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the customs and border control police.

Keep in mind that even if you are in possession of an ESTA or a visa, this does not guarantee your entry into the United States. Only border crossing officials will be authorized to approve your passage through US customs . It is recommended that a person wishing to travel to the United States have a return air ticket to prove to customs officials that their reason for residence is not to immigrate illegally.