Understanding the ESTA

The ESTA (or Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an official document issued by the US Government for people wishing to enter the United States. It replaces the Visa for peoplefrom countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.

The conditions for obtaining an ESTA

An ESTA is mandatory for all adults and minors wishing to travel to the United States for less than 90 consecutive days for any reason (business, tourism …). It is granted to people whose countries are members of the VWA program for a renewable duration of 2 years. ESTA applicants must hold a valid biometric or electronic passport.

How to get your ESTA ?

Unlike other official documents, ESTA is completely dematerialized. The application process is done online and no paper version of the document will be issued. It is necessary to fill out an online application form to obtain an ESTA. The related fees can be paid by credit cards by the ESTA applicant.

When to apply for an ESTA ?

The ESTA is issued by US authorities within 72 hours. It is therefore necessary to submit your application no later than 72 hours before the scheduled date of departure to the United States.

Which countries are members of the VWA program ?

Currently, 38 countries are participating in the VWA program namely:

  • Germany
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • South Korea
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Latvia
  • Lichtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic
  • United Kingdom
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Swiss
  • Taiwan