Formalities to enter the USA by Internet

The formalities for entering the United States for a stay of less than 90 days can be carried out directly via the Internet. It is not necessary to obtain an appointment at the American Embassy or Consulate.

The online form can be completed in a few minutes if you have your travel documents with you, you just need to fill in the personal information requested in the ESTA application. Payment is made directly after completing the online form, and you will receive confirmation that your ESTA is validated within minutes.

The ESTA is a questionnaire that every European citizen or citizen coming from a country belonging to the Visa Waiver Program is obliged to fill in on the Internet in order to travel to the United States. The ESTA replaces the old “green sheet” filled out by passengers during their trip and allows them to board an airplane or ship under the visa waiver program. It is managed by the US Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

The basic principles of ESTA authorization

ESTA authorization is required for business or transit travelers and for a duration of less than three months.

Tourist trips are also affected by this formality. An ESTA visa does not allow you to seek work, an internship or study in the United States. In this case, you must apply for a visa at the embassy.

Adults and children, even young ones, are concerned by this procedure and it is necessary to be in possession of this document before making a trip by air or sea. People with visas or traveling to the U.S. by land are not required to do so (although in some cases, the ESTA may allow you to speed up the process at the border).

The formalities to obtain the ESTA

The ESTA application must be submitted at least 3 days prior to departure, as it may be put on hold and in this case the authorities have a maximum of 3 days to respond. However, if you need to obtain ESTA in a hurry, you can always apply, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it in time. It is valid for two years, or until the passport expires, and the holder can travel to the USA several times without having to apply for a new authorization for all trips during this period.

The application will be completed by the traveler prior to travel to the United States, but this does not preclude the assistance of a third party. Specialized sites help people who have difficulty obtaining this certificate. It should be noted that the most important information is that which appears on the passport.