USA: Travelers subject to new security measures
In order to strengthen their internal security, the American authorities have put in place, over the past few months, new measures that you must take into account when preparing your trip to the United States
What is ESTA?
ESTA consists of a pre-authorization of stay that allows eligible persons to travel to the United States via a simpler and less costly procedure than that required to establish a visa.
Valid for two years, the document allows its holders to make several stays during this period.
Travelers must, however, comply with certain security measures imposed by the United States, such as :
- travel with a company recognized by the USA;
- stay on the territory for a maximum of 90 consecutive days.
General safety measures
A valid biometric or ePassport is required to travel to the United States for nationals of the Visa Waiver Program.
This new security measure means that travelers who do not have this ID must contact the US Embassy to apply for a visa.
Targeted security measures
Nationals of Visa Waiver Program member countries who have stayed in recent years in one of the countries considered as the cradle of terrorism (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan…) cannot obtain ESTA.
They must therefore face the new security measures imposed and turn to another form of residence permit: the visa.
Some exceptions are however granted but in very specific cases. They apply to:
- full-time officials of State administrations on official missions;
- agents working for a regional or international organisation ;
- personnel working in humanitarian work or journalism.