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Many people from different countries of the world need to apply for the ESTA visa to go to the United States. But what is really ESTA and under what circumstances is it requested?
In order to protect the security of the country under the Visa Waiver Program, the United States offers a special program for citizens of eligible countries so that they can travel without a visa, but they still need an approved travel authorization before traveling to the North American country. .
This program is known as ESTA.
What is this?
THIS (acronym for Electronic Travel Authorization System) is the eligibility program to travel to the United States, through which the online application is processed, offering automatic authorization. Before boarding the plane, it is electronically verified with the country's Customs and Border Protection Office that the user has, indeed, the approved travel authorization.
With that, the trip to the United States is approved, which does not really mean that it can be accessed at the border, which depends on airport security, although in very few occasions the final entry is denied.
ESTA application characteristics
Something that should be clear is that THIS is not a visa by failing to meet the legal requirements to act as if it were an American visa.
However, travelers holding a valid US visa can travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued, and are not required to apply for an ESTA.
It must be taken into account that just as a valid visa does not guarantee entry into the country, neither does the approved ESTA.
The ESTA application is mandatory from January 12, 2009. In addition, another important piece of information is that approved applications will be approved for 2 years, or until the passport expires (if this occurs in a period of less than two years), allowing, in turn, multiple trips to the US.
How long can I be in the US with ESTA?
If we obtain approval, ESTA allows us to stay in the country for up to 90 days for each time we enter the country, leaving a reasonable time (it is best to leave another 90 days) between leaving the country and the next entry.
There is no established time requirement, but border agents may suspect, in the case of multiple entries in short periods of time, that there is an interest in living in the country.
Reasons for having to request a new ESTA authorization
There are several reasons for having to reapply for ESTA authorization. They are:
- If we get a new passport.
- If there is a change of name (first and / or last name).
- If there is a gender change. ESTA does not have a gender X to choose from in the application, so it is suggested that the traveler choose the option with which they feel most comfortable. Likewise, the ESTA is never denied due to the gender chosen in the application.
- If there is a change of citizenship.
- If there are circumstantial changes, such as for a conviction for a crime, or in case of infectious disease. In these cases, not only must the application be resubmitted detailing these changes, or else entry into the country may be denied upon arrival.
The State Department recommends that we make the ESTA application as soon as possible from the moment we know that we will make a trip To united states.
Data of interest:
If the ESTA expires while you are inside the United States, it will not affect your departure from the country.
It is very important to print a copy of the document for our own records. However, the hard copy is not essential when arriving in the country, since the border agents have the information in electronic format.