Any tourist wishing to travel to the United States must have an American passport, a Canadian passport or a USA Visa . Without one of these three documents, it is not possible to be admitted to the United States. But there are documents to travel to the United States that are called precisely Esta (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).
Let's now see the ESTA Meaning
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What is Esta Visa ?
What is the meaning of this acronym?
Precisely the Esta acronym stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
Esta, in fact, is a travel authorization, in digital format, allowing you to travel to the United States, even without Visa. More precisely, this is an automatic system, used to determine the suitability of travelers to travel to the United States or not.
This process takes place under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The acronym ESTA (Electronic System for Travel) can also be found as ESTA United States, ESTA USA and finally ESTA AMERICA, in all cases it always refers to the same authorization needed to visit this country.
The ESTA permit, however, is not to be confused with an ordinary visa USA, as it does not meet the legal requirements of a normal visa for the United States. Those in possession of a United States visa are not required to obtain an ESTA visa.
It is important to emphasize that the ESTA permit does not guarantee entry into the United States, but with its approval before departure, it authorizes you to board a plane bound for the United States.
The ESTA visa was conceived by the US government, through the US Customs and Border Protection (i.e. a law enforcement officer responsible for the security of the US borders, which deals with customs control and transit on national borders), with the aim to prevent unwanted and malicious travelers from traveling freely and undisturbed to the United States.
This is what is referred to when it comes to the danger to security and / or the maintenance of public order in the United States. For this reason, through the ESTA visa, the American government has the possibility to easily and systematically check entry into the United States in a preventive way compared to the actual arrival of travelers.
It is therefore a control that is based, in part, on a simplified legal system, which is also based on the ESTA declaration. The latter is an integral part of the USA ESTA application.
Inside, the applicant states that no present objection or appeal against the decision not to admit the territory in the United States. For this reason, it is not recommended to request this authorization if the requirements for its achievement are not met at the start (each traveler can view all the online requirements for ESTA).
What is the ESTA visa for?
What are its functions?
This particular electronic travel authorization system in the United States is an effective security measure for the United States government and law enforcement agencies.
This because it allows the government to use the possibility to reject all individuals considered unfit and therefore undesirable, even before they can take a plane and a ship to travel to America then crossing US borders.
However, it should be noted that this authorization is also mandatory for travelers traveling elsewhere but who for logistical needs find themselves calling at a US airport or temporarily passing through the territory. For information read the US Transit section
The ESTA, therefore, is analogous to the eTa for Canada and the eVisitor for Australia, the electronic travel authorization programs used as forms of control by the governments of these two states.
A practice that many countries are now taking to replace the request for classic travel visas (whose requests often require long and complex procedures). This program in the United States has become mandatory since January 12, 2009.
When to apply for an ESTA visa and what is its validity?
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides instructions on when to apply for ESTA permission.
It should make use of it when you book your trip and not less than 72 hours before boarding for the flight (because after having submitted the application you must wait until it is accepted or rejected).
Once the authorization is obtained, it will last two years, except for the possible expiry of the passport with which ESTA has been associated.
During this time it is possible to enter the United States and stay there for a period not exceeding 90 days for each trip.
It is also advisable to allow time intervals between one trip and another, to prevent suspicions from arising among CBP agents. The role of these authorities, in fact, is precisely to prevent a traveler from stopping and residing permanently in the territory of the United States, without authorization and therefore in a clandestine way.
Benefits of applying for ESTA to the United States
What is the advantage of applying for an ESTA with VWP?
Once an authorization to travel to the United States has been requested under the VWP, you must complete a customs declaration (strictly printed on blue paper), when disembarking from the plane or ship, this happens regardless of whether you have an ESTA permit or not.
With ESTA for USA, however, it will no longer be necessary to fill in the green form I-94W, in which the traveler's personal data and information regarding the stay and stay in the United States are entered (usually the compilation of this document takes place directly on the plane during the journey).
In addition, applying for an ESTA is simpler, faster and cheaper than applying for a visa USA. To apply for a visa for the United States, in fact, it is necessary to make an appointment at the Consulate of the United States, conversely for ESTA it is sufficient to fill in the online application form referred to in the previous paragraph (the procedure takes a few minutes).
Depending on the need and urgency of the ESTA authorization request, this is issued, on average, in one hour from processing the payment.
Once released, an email notification is sent to the applicant coThe latter will take place after approval by the United States Department of Immigration, confirmed by email.
Once the confirmation of approval has been received, it will be necessary to print it and keep a copy which, however, will not be requested upon arrival in the United States, since the agents in charge of customs control will already have the information in electronic format.
How to apply for an ESTA visa?
Within this site it is possible for citizens to request ESTA quickly and easily.
The ESTA declaration can be submitted through the corresponding online application form; after approval you will receive an email confirming that the procedure has taken place. By clicking on the box located below, you can proceed directly to the area where you can make the request or to the section where you can find more information on the procedure that leads to obtaining ESTA.
Before carrying out the online procedure, to avoid complications, travelers will need to have the following information and documents:
- personal information including parents' names, address and telephone numbers, e-passport, identity card number,
- name and address of employer (current or previous),
- name, telephone number and email address of an ICE (emergency contact, also outside the United States),
- information (address and telephone number) on where you will be staying in the United States,
- credit card authorized for online payments.
For more detailed information on ESTA meaning, please consult the ESTA FAQ section