Friday, September 16, 2016

All VWP travelers need knowing about ESTA

US has ESTA visa that is electronic system for travel authentication for travelers from countries participating in VWP program. Electronic permission is granted for a short stay that is up to 90 days and it is used for leisure and other short trips. If a traveler wants to extend his stay beyond the permitted time, he is asked to get a valid visa.

Application for travel authorization can be filled and submitted online. US government provides the application on its sites and it charges a small fee that is $14 for processing ESTA visa applications.Travelers are advised to file their applications 72 hours before the travel but they can apply for travel authorization even an hour before boarding the flight. Permission can be granted within a minute but it isn’t a valid visa.

Filing online application is the first step towards travel authorization and one has to be careful when entering his travel details like passport number in the application form. Here it is necessary to mention that every traveler including children has to obtain permission to travel. Application has to be filled carefully as a little mistake could become a basis for denial of permission.

USA ESTA visa is valid for two years from date of issuance or till the passport expires. If the passport expires before two years then the travel authorization stands cancelled and the passport holder has to apply for travel authorization again. But the most important thing each ESTA applicant should know that the online permission isn’t a valid visa. The Department of Homeland Security has the right to turn travelers back from the entry point even when the travelers have ESTA approval.

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 For travel authorization, travelers need filling online applications and for applications, they can rely on government sites. Application forms are available online for free but a fee of $14 is charged for processing application. The application form is also available on third-party sites but these sites charge more than $14 for their service. Travelers are free to use official application form or third-party sites for filing their applications.

DHS officials take less than a minute in determining eligibility of ESTA travelers. Decision on an ESTA online application form is taken within a minute and the applicant is informed by email. The applicant is asked to carry all his travel related documents to get permission at the entry point, where DHS officials physically scrutinize all the documents. If they don’t find anything suspicious, the traveler is allowed to enter the country.

First step in getting online travel authorization is filing the application for ESTA. Also the travelers should know that they have to pay $14 as processing fee to the DHS. If a traveler uses a third-party site for filing ESTA form then he/she will also pay service charge of the site in addition to the processing charge of government.

ESTA visa USA is granted for short time that is for up to 90 days. For stay beyond 90 days, travelers have to apply for valid visa through embassy. It is for travelers from VWP countries and it is for short travel. 

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