All you need to know about traveling to the United States of America with ESTA
A guest post by Josh Hobson
What’s an ESTA?
First and foremost, ESTA is a resource that was created by the United States government. Furthermore, the resource has been designed to ensure that tourists and business persons entering the country by boat or plane could be screened before their arrival and be processed quickly once in the States. In addition, an ESTA is required by anybody that has a connecting flight that lands in the U.S. Finally, that rule applies to everybody, even if you are not leaving the airport.
How to apply?
Firstly, the ESTA application is completed online and takes roughly 30 minutes from start, to finish. Applicants only need an electronic passport and an internet connection. The days of queuing and traveling to embassies will be a thing of the past. Applicants can apply if they are from one of the 38 countries eligible. Those countries include The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, France & Germany, among others. The cost of the ESTA is a mere $14. Click here to find out if you’re eligible.
What happens next?
After the applicant has completed the ESTA form, they will receive an email within 72 hours. Applicants will be notified if they have been granted access into the U.S. or not. The email usually comes within minutes of applying, though.
The validity of the application lasts for two years. However, if the passport expires before the two-year period then so will the ESTA. During that two-year period, the applicant can travel to the United States as often as they like. It is advised that the applicant should leave the U.S. no longer than 90 days after arriving in the U.S.
Upon arrival to the United States, border officials may still deny access to the applicant, as they have the final say on who can or cannot enter the country.
Moreover, upon arrival, applicants may be asked to show evidence that they have a journey planned and have enough funds to support their trip in the country.
Applicants will need to apply for a visa if their ESTA application is rejected.
Up to 50 applications can be processed at one time, therefore meaning that if large groups are planning on traveling to the United States together, only one application form needs to be submitted with everybody’s information, and the cost will be added up into one total.
Have you already applied before for ESTA? What was/is your destination in the U.S.? Did ESTA make your trip easier?
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