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ESTA: Making Your Traveling Easier

ESTA: Making Your Traveling Easier

For most people, getting ready for international trip can be a dauntig task, considering the number of travel documents and required papework necessary for entering and passing trough any country on the trip. If you are, by some chance, a driver wishing to expirience a road trip abroad, you will have much more things to do than usually. From checking your driver`s licence validity in a certain country, obtaining an International Driver`s Pemit, to getting informed in detail about the terms and prices of renting a car. But, in case you are planning to visit the United States, it doesn`t have to be so complicated. In fact, ESTA makes it pretty simple, giving you more time to organise your trip to be more enjoyable and without any problems.

First of all, What is ESTA? The Electronic System for Travel Autorisation is an automated system that helps US security services to determine the eligbility of visitors that travel under the Visa Waiver Program. VWP allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the US without a visa for up to 90 days. ESTA doesnt guarantee you entry to the country, because that desicion will be made by a Custom and Border Protection Officer at the entry point, but only allows you to board a flight or cruise ship.

road_trip_easyThe citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries can visit the US without a visa, for 90 days or less, but they need to obtain an ESTA USA authorisation in order to enter the country. Travelers are usually encouraged to submit the application as soon as they start planning the trip, or at least 72 hours before arriving to the US.

Applying for ESTA is simple, it doesnt take a lot of time and it`s completely online. Just log on to the official web site and fill out the form. You will be requested to enter your personal data, passport number, contact details etc. The online application is typically processed instantly, although you may wait for response up to 72 hours. If you`re driving from Canada or Mexico, you dont need an ESTA.

There are three possibile responses application may generate:

  • Authorisation Approved: you are allowed to travel to the US.
  • Travel Not Authorised: your application got denied, but you can apply for a Visitor`s Visa.
  • Authorisation pending: you will recieve a final response within 72 hours.

visa_approvedIt`s really important to say that once your application has been processed and approved, you will recieve your confirmation number, so you can check your ESTA status or update your information at any moment. Approved ESTA is valid for two years and you can have multiple trips back to the states.

Keep in mind tha ESTA application is not free, therefore you need to have a valid credit card to be able to pay for applying. The fee is compromiced of two parts:

  • Processing Charge – The fee for the processing application is 4$.
  • Authorisation Charge – You pay additional 10$ if your application is approved and you recieve authorisation to travel to the US.

Although a third party may be involved in this proces, it`s unnecessay because fiiling out the online form is not complicated and you will have to pay a lot more for their services.


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