ESTA or Visa for the USA
You want to go to the United States for your next vacation. Are you still hesitating between obtaining an ESTA or a mandatory visa (such as the L1 visa or B1 visa / B2 visa)? To answer this question, take into account the peculiarities of your trip. The ESTA is not a visa , it does not allow to do the same things in the United States.
ESTA: the simplest authorization
If you meet certain criteria, we strongly advise you to turn to obtaining the ESTA authorization . The latter is a visa exemption, greatly simplifying the steps and formalities to go to the US .
The conditions for eligibility are as follows:
- A stay not exceeding 90 days;
- Plan a trip for tourist or professional purposes unpaid;
- Have a return trip ticket;
- Have an electronic or biometric passport
- Be a national of one of the countries participating in the ESTA program (of which France is a member).
If you meet all these conditions, you can apply for ESTA online and get a response within 72 hours. Compared to a visa, the ESTA form is acquired much more easily, quickly and at a lower cost. The price of ESTA is sometimes variable according to the sites and the services rendered.
VISA USA: for special trips
If your trip does not meet the criteria required to obtain an ESTA, you will have to take the necessary steps to obtain a visa corresponding to the characteristics of your stay. Unlike the ESTA authorization, the process of issuing a visa is much longer and complicated.
As an example, here are some existing Visa:
- Visa B1 for business trips;
- B2 Visa for Tourism;
- F1 Visa for students;
- J1 visa for internships;
- O visa for artists;
- And may be soon the visa start-up Program .
Be aware that the variations of the Visa are numerous because there are almost as many as there is reason to go to the United States. In order to obtain one, you will have to contact the American Embassy which will inform you about the travel documents for the United States to provide to build your application file. Prepare yourself for an interview!