What to know before traveling to the US with an ESTA?
Many people desire to travel to the US; some to travel, some for business, some to study, and some to experience the lifestyle. To do so, you need to travel permission to the US. A VISA is what you usually need. But if you are from a VWP country, you can travel to the US for tourism or business without a VISA. Yes, that’s right. You can simply request ESTA (Aanvragen ESTA) that will allow you to enter the US and stay there for 90 days. However, before you apply for an ESTA, here are a few things that you ought to know:
- An e-passport is necessary
Before you place your ESTA request, you have to check whether your passport has a chip in it. A chipped passport, also known as an e-passport, is necessary if you want to apply for an ESTA. The chip contains biometric information as well as passport data that is used by the customs security. An ESTA travel is impossible without an e-passport. If you do not have one, it is best to get your passport before you apply for your ESTA.
- ESTA applications are online
As the name suggests, ESTA applications are online. You have to fill up an ESTA form online if you want to avail of the privileges granted to nationals of VWP countries. If you fill that you wouldn’t be able to do it yourself online or do not have access, you can ask a family member or friend to do it on your behalf. There is no way you can do it in person as with a VISA.
- Apply via a trustworthy portal
There are many websites or portals where you can apply for your ESTA. But it is recommended that you request ESTA via a trustworthy site like Estavisumamerika. This is to ensure that your ESTA applications reach the authorities correctly and you aren’t robbed of your money. By applying via a trustworthy site, you make the process hassle-free.
- ESTA has a limited validity
Another thing that you would want to keep in mind is the validity of your ESTA. An ESTA has a validity of two years only. So, if you aren’t planning to travel anytime soon, it would be useless to apply for one. ESTA requests must be made only when you have decided to visit the US or have a layover in the US.
- You may incur international fees
To apply for an ESTA, you will need to pay the fees. If you are doing this with a card, check whether you are incurring any international fees. Since you will be paying in dollars, it is best to pay with a card that doesn’t charge for currency conversion. Check with your bank before you fill-up the ESTA form (Esta formulier) so that you can avoid unnecessary expenses.
Getting your ESTA approved is the easiest way to gain entry to the US if you are a citizen of a VWP member country. All you need to do is take care of a few nitty-gritty and you will have a smooth trip.