Electronic System for Travel Authorization is electronic visa for travelers from VWP countries. It is put in place to facilitate short trips of maximum 90 days. The US government has a Visa Waiver Program for the countries that meet its international security standards.
USA ESTA Visa regulation came into force on January 12, 2009and the travelers were forced through fines to bring ESTA at check in from January 20, 2010. It is still in force and has been made mandatory for travelers that want to stay in US for up to 90 days. Here it is necessary to mention that it is a prescreening process and not a visa. The objective is to provide quick access to travelers from VWP countries and for quick access a prescreening process is put in place to allow travelers to enter into the US territory without going through a thorough screening.
Electronic visa application is available on US government website and it is to be submitted with a nominal fee of $14. Earlier it was free but a charge was added as Travel Promotion Act. Each traveler has to fill his/her form for electronic visa to get travel authorization. The form contains general information regarding passport number, name, postal address and other details about the traveler.
The information provided in esta visa usa application is screened by the officials of the US Department of Homeland Security. It is seen whether the traveler poses any threat to the US security. If the traveler is found to be safe for the sovereignty and integrity of the US, he/she is allowed to enter into the US territory. But the traveler has to produce his/her ESTA papers at the check in point. But the final decision of letting a traveler in the US territory lies with the US officials.
Process of obtaining ESTA is simple and straightforward. Travelers have to fill online application forms for the electronic visa. The forms are scrutinized and permission provided within an hour of submitting the forms. But sometimes permission is delayed due to any reason. Travelers are advised to apply for ESTA visa at least 72 hours before traveling to US.
Many times ESTA Visa online is denied and there are many reasons for declining the electronic visa. If a traveler is denied electronic visa, he/she can go through the regular visa route to visit the US. Regular visa is open for all. If you apply for electronic visa 72 hours before travel, you will get some time to apply for a regular visa, if your ESTA application is declined. But if you apply for electronic visa before an hour of traveling and the visa is denied then you will have to postpone your visit for want of visa.