It has been a couple of years now since the short-stay Visa, which allows travelers to reside in the United States for a short time, has been replaced by the ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is a travel authorization issued for people wishing to enter the US for less than 90 days.
Who delivers the ESTA ?
The ESTA is an document although it is entirely dematerialized. It is issued only by the US authorities, namely the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection. These departments are also in charge of studying the applications filed online.
Is ESTA mandatory ?
Yes, ESTA is a document that you must possess before you can enter the US if you come from one of the 38 countries participating in the WWA program (Visa Waiver Program). It will then replace the short stay visa during its validity period. Your ESTA application must be submitted no later than 72 hours prior to the departure date for the United States. It will be verified at your entry on the American soil.
How to ask for an ESTA ?
The ESTA is a fully dematerialized document. The application can only be submitted online by filling a dedicated form. Several personal details such as your name, the reasons of your stay, but also your passport number will be requested in this form. The US authorities will validate your ESTAwithin 72 hours. It will then be valid for 2 years. A new application must be submitted if your passport expires during the validity of your ESTA.