ESTA to transit through the USA

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, is a travel document for travelers wishing to travel to the United States without the need for a traditional visa or a transit visa in the case of a stopover. Introduced in 2009, this process allows the US government to verify the identity of passengers in advance. But what about people just wanting to transit through the United States? We bring you the answer to this question in the following article.


Is ESTA mandatory for transit?

When setting up the ESTA authorization, the message of the US government was clear: the purpose of the device is to minimize the risks to the security of the US territory. As well as vacationers and businessmen, regardless of the project, travelers to make a stopover in the US are required to submit an application ESTA transit authorization provided they are citizens of one of the participating countries the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Although ESTA was designed for travelers wishing to stay in the United States for up to 90 days, the device remains a means of control for immigration officers to identify those at risk. for the security of the territory. It is for this reason that passengers in transit in the US must present a valid ESTA document when boarding an aircraft or aboard a ship bound for the United States.

Note : If you are traveling by land (from Mexico or Canada for example), it is not necessary to produce a transit ESTA authorization.


How to get an ESTA transit USA?

If you plan to make a trip that requires transit through the US, whether by air or sea (cruise ships), you will need to apply for ESTA or visa application if you are not a national. one of the VWP countries. The application for ESTA transit is done online on the Internet.

The only difference on the form is the “US Address” for which “Transit” will be required. The rest of the procedure is the same and the form must be filled in as if it were a residence request. You must know that the authorization is not free. The cost of the application is invariable and in accordance with the tariff in force. The validity of the ESTA is two years from the date of issue, allowing all travelers to make transits as many times as they wish during this period or until the end of the period of validity of the passport, in which case an update of the ESTA will have to be carried out.

Note : in case of refusal, it will then be necessary to make a new request or turn to the embassy to make a request for a traditional visa, even for a simple transit.

In order to help you to get the ESTA, we have created a news section, a FAQ , a help page and a lexicon of terms most often used, translated into French.