Travel to the USA – Should we prefer Visa or ESTA?

The United States, who doesn’t dream of going there? You plan to go in a while and you are preparing your trip, for that you are going through the administrative procedures and you do not know whether you need to do a Visa or ESTA. Depending on the reason for your stay, one of these documents will correspond best.

When do you need a Visa and not an ESTA?

You should know that ESTA is not given with each request and can be refused under certain conditions. This is why, sometimes you will be obliged to apply for a visa, this is the case for the following situations:

  • You decide to take a trip of more than 90 days to the USA
  • If you are traveling to the United States to invest on American soil
  • To study at a university
  • If you are in the USA as part of an exchange program
  • If you are in the USA, for a temporary job.

What is ESTA?

The ETSA is “Electronic System for Travel Authorization”, is an electronic authorization issued by the American government, without it it is not possible to enter the territory. It is an authorized document for certain visa-exempt countries, including France.

However, you should know that it is not mandatory, if you already have a Visa, it is not necessary to have both documents.

Under what conditions can you obtain the ESTA?

To obtain ESTA for the United States, your trip must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Be a national of one of the visa-exempt countries including France and listed on the official ESTA website
  • Have arrived in the territory by sea or air
  • Your stay concerns only a tourist reason, or you are there for a transit
  • Your stay does not last more than 90 days
  • You have a biometric passport or an electronic passport and valid
  • Have no history with US Homeland Security

In addition, be aware that ESTA is required for any transit in the United States, so it will be necessary even if you are not staying in non-American territory. It is therefore necessary to watch your transits when you travel, so as not to find yourself blocked in the USA.

How to apply for ESTA?

Your request is made directly online, all you have to do is follow the various steps, fill in correctly and provide the requested documents. It is a very affordable document, for which you will simply have to pay $ 14.

One of the significant advantages is the speed of response, you will receive an acceptance or a refusal within 72 hours of your request. Once obtained this document is valid for 2 years.

If, on the contrary, your application is refused you can try a new application, but if your file is not changing, it will still be refused, then you will have to apply for a visa.

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