The ESTA declaration
The ESTA travel authorization system was implemented in 2009 for the member countries of the system and has made it possible to offer more secure travel conditions to travelers wishing to visit the United States. This administrative declaration is made to the U.S. Customs Service online.
ESTA declaration: what is it?
An ESTA declaration is a travel authorization that allows you to stay in the United States for 90 consecutive days. Travelers wishing to stay beyond this three-month period must apply for a mandatory visa (B-1/B-2, J1)
While it does not guarantee entry into the U.S., 99% of travelers with an accepted ESTA declaration will be able to enter the United States. The final decision rests with the immigration officer at the airport.
An ESTA declaration allows:
- On the business side, it allows you to attend meetings, sign contracts with partners, or participate in short-term, unpaid training.
- On the tourism side, it allows you to travel throughout the country, alone or in groups, to participate in a variety of cultural activities, and to enroll in courses that do not give credit toward a university degree.
It does not allow you to receive any kind of remuneration, to take a job on the spot or to take courses to obtain a diploma.
How to obtain an ESTA declaration?
It is very simple to obtain an ESTA declaration, all the steps are done online. All you have to do is log in and fill out the ESTA form with your personal information (last name, first name, passport number), indicate the conditions of your stay (flight number, airline, length of stay) and answer yes or no to a series of questions about your criminal record.
There is a fee for all ESTA declarations, whether the traveler is an adult or a child. The application processing fee is $4. The authorization fee (for authorized requests) is $10. Since the ESTA is paid for online, all monies are charged to your credit card.