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The United States of America is still the number one destination in the world for travelers and tourists in international business. In such a position, the country strives to preserve the global connections that are critical to its economy and strengths, and at the same time, protect the national security. This is why the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) has been initiated to allow the citizens of specific countries to enter the States for ninety days without a visa.
As of December 2018, 38 countries participate in the program, and the program is applicable only to the ones traveling for tourism and business purposes. The list of countries may vary, and thus, confirms your eligibility before making plans to visit the USA. You will also require an electronic passport. All the requirements of the passport will get approved if your country is on the list of VWP nations. You can apply for ESTA online after confirming that your country comes under the VWP program.
A Brief Introduction To ESTA
ESTA is the abbreviation for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is a kind of automation system that determines if a citizen from a VWP nation can travel to the USA and apply for the permission to enter. ESTA is not a visa requirement, and it is related only to traveling. The entire application process is carried out online, and there are no physical application forms. The VWP travelers will need to apply for ESTA after booking the trip and within 72 hours of flight departure. Without ESTA approval, the airline will not allow you to board.
The Process Of Application For ESTA
You will need to enter the details of your citizenship, passport, contact information, and employment on the application page. You will have to use a device with the camera because the upload photo section will activate the camera for taking a picture of the biographic page of your passport. After the completion of the process of application, you have the option of paying right then or within a week of submission, failing which your application stands canceled. You will be informed within 72 hours if the ESTA application is granted or not and the results are uploaded online. If the application gets denied, you will need to visit the nearest US Consulate for visa application.
Validity Period For ESTA
ESTAs are valid for two years, unlike the visa. The time period starts from the day when you get the approval, which is generally on the same day of making the application. However, if the passport expires within this period of two years, the ESTA will also end on that same date. Thus, you need to make sure that there are at least two years left on the passport when you are applying for ESTA, and that way, you will not have to reapply for the ESTA in the future. Unlike other travel authorizations, you cannot extend ESTA when you are in the States. But if the ESTA is valid on the day of arrival in the country, you have nothing to worry.
Posted by Grandybigs on 09 Jan 2019