To access the United States, a passport is not enough, foreign tourists are bound to issue a visa which authorizes access to the American continent, the other way around for citizens of countries belonging to the "Visa Waiver Program" program is not required the visa, but rather the ESTA, or authorization with which it is possible to remain on American soil for 90 consecutive days.
ESTA is a form, also accessible online, which must be completed and sent. Only its acceptance allows entry into the United States of America.
To date, 39 countries are granted access to American soil following the release of ESTA: these are those who have signed the "Visa Waiver Program".
The purpose behind ESTA is to speed up entry into America without the long and complex process of issuing a visa USA, especially for those states that are not considered dangerous.
Given the severity of the controls in America, there is a doubt that afflicts those who are about to make a trip with a stopover in the States: who should only have to pass through American soil and then go to another continent, what should he do? Is your passport enough?
For transit in the USA, the procedure is not univocal, it varies from country to country. What is certain is that anyone who is temporarily on American soil must enjoy a permit, which is why if you are in possession of the ESTA or the Visa there are no problems, otherwise you will have to make use of the authorizations if you do not wants to incur repatriation.
For citizens of countries belonging to the "Visa Waiver Program", the ESA must be requested before embarking for America, therefore, it is not allowed to land and then request it, under penalty of ban on continuing transit.
When it is said that to enter America it is mandatory to be equipped with ESTA, it is necessary to distinguish between parking and stopover.
In the event that the plane lands temporarily in a US airport, without allowing passengers to get off the vehicle, well, America does not impose any ESTA obligation. However, in the event of a stopover, where the traveler must physically get off the plane to board another plane, even immediately, it is essential to have an ESTA or a Visa USA: the person is not entitled to stay on American soil without a permit.
The reason is simple to understand: to change planes the citizen must enter the airport and undergo the checks again to obtain authorization to leave American soil, an authorization that will be granted only if it appears to have entered the United States legitimately.
Moreover, having to access the airport to be able to board the next flight, he could take this excuse to exit the airport and circulate illegitimately and unregistered on American soil.
Therefore, if you are not sure that the plane on which you are on board has to make a simple stop to refuel and you do not have to change planes, to avoid problems with the law, it is advisable to obtain the necessary authorizations.
Be careful, however, because having ESTA does not mean that you can move everywhere, so it is advisable to make sure that you have all the authorizations to be able to go to the country of final destination, since ESTA or visa will be enough to transit in the United States but it is not said that it is sufficient to reach other countries.
ESTA or Visa checks can take place at the United States airport or in the country of destination.
ESTA consists of an online form where you can enter your personal and identification data, passport number, air ticket, date of departure and return from American soil, as well as the answer to a series of questions in which the good is expected transit faith on U.S. territory.
Among the questions of ESTA they are asked to indicate whether they are addicted to alcohol or drugs, or are carriers of infectious diseases.
Following are the questions on the criminal record, for which it is asked to indicate if you have a criminal record for acts of terrorism, drugs, espionage or if you have been sentenced to more than 5 years etc ...
We continue with questions to understand the reasons for the trip, including the indication of the place where you will stay during your stay in the territory.
Finally, it is asked if it is the first entry into the United States, and if ESTA has ever been refused on previous occasions.
It seems like a lot of questions, but in reality the compilation of the ESTA requires few armed, as for the forwarding result it will be necessary to wait up to 72 hours to obtain the positive or negative outcome of the request, which is why those who risk transit on American soil must make the request at least a few days before.
Typically, the response occurs after a few hours, however, there may be cases in which it can even reach 72 hours.
To submit the request, you must indicate your own valid email address, to which the system will then forward the response to download and print to take it with you on the road.
ESTA can be requested for tourism, family, study or business reasons.
So the ESTA, from the request, lasts 2 years. However, this does not mean that you can stay on American territory for 24 months: it has a validity of 2 years, but allows you to reside in the United States only for 90 days and for a maximum of 180 cumulative days in a year.
Attention: it is two years if the connected passport is valid at the expiry of the 2 years, otherwise it expires together with the passport and the request must be sent again.
As for the costs, it should be clarified that ESTA has no price, you pay the service with which you obtain the authorization to enter the American territory.
The cost is around 39 Euros and payment by VISA card or PayPal is required. The sum is deducted only upon presentation of the application.
ESTA-CLICK is not an affiliate and does not depend directly on the United States government or its embassies. It is a service agency that offers assistance with travel practices. The services offered by our site have a fixed rate of € 39 which includes government taxes and expenses related to the practice.