The new travel regulations and authorization systems are often brought into action for enhancing the safety measures and eliminating any kind of security risks. The United States of America also has a Travel Authorization that will improve the safety of passengers as well as it will ensure the safety of borders. The new travel authorization system is named ESTA which is a short form of Electronic Security of Travel Authorization.
The ESTA will be used for determining the eligibility of the visitors traveling to the United States. It will look after all the biographic information of the individual who has applied to travel overseas. It is an automated system by the government of the United States that will help in the pre-screening of the visitors. The process will be entirely online that is why the procedure for applying will also be done online.
Even though the ESTA will determine the eligibility of the visitor but, the authorities can not determine the admissibility of a traveler visiting the States on the basis of ESTA application. It can only be determined upon the arrival of the person by the United States customs and border protection officers.
Visitors will need to apply for ESTA prior to their visit to the nation of the United States. It is suggested you apply for this travel authorization system as soon as you plan your trip. A minimum gap of 72 hours before your departure and your ESTA application will be highly appreciated.
ESTA is not a visa, but it is a visa-waiver system. Even after you have a valid ESTA, you will still have to acquire your visa with you. There are a total of 38 countries in the world that are a part of this new visa waiver program. You are only eligible for applying for ESTA if you are a citizen of any of these 38 countries or you belong to the United States.
In order to apply for ESTA, you must have a valid passport. You will not be able to apply if you do not possess a valid passport. The application fee for ESTA application is $14 which will be done online through credit card or PayPal as it is an entirely online process. The application will need you to fill in your basic information and contact information.
ESTA will remain valid for a period of 2 years or until your passport expires, whatever is nearest. Your ESTA will not be considered valid if your passport expires. You can use your ESTA for staying in the nation for any of these two purposes, that is, business and pleasure.