ESTA authorization in detail

The ESTA authorization was born out of a desire: to reinforce travel security to the United States as much as possible. It was created under the Visa Waiver Program and is managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The ESTA document is an authorization since its function is to determine your eligibility . The requested information, whether personal (contact details, identity) or that they relate to the actual trip (address, duration), indeed allow to filter the travelers and facilitate the work of the personnel working in the service of immigration .

All travelers, adults or minors, must complete an application before flying or sailing to the United States, even if you are traveling to Hawaii, Oceania. Each member of a group, a couple or a family must therefore have their own ESTA declaration in their name and pay the corresponding processing fee. Infants are not exempt even if they do not have a plane ticket.

An electronic travel authorization allows you to fly to the United States but does not guarantee you 100% your right of entry to the United States. The officer will review your application to determine your final eligibility.

It is of course important to note that an ESTA questionnaire is not a visa . Thus, it does not meet the same criteria and does not give you the same rights. Similarly, an American ESTA does not allow you to travel to Canada. To do this you will need to fill out an ESTA Canada .

An ESTA allows you several projects on the American territory. You can among other things:

  • Stay 90 days in the US
  • To travel by air or sea (for a stop in the USA towards Canada for example)
  • Sightseeing all over the country (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Miami ..) but also Cuba
  • Participate in social, musical or sports activities (but voluntarily)
  • Register for courses that do not give you credit for a university degree
  • The validity period of ESTA is 2 years

If you go on business, you will still be relatively free of your schedule because you will be able to sign contracts, attend meetings and conferences and benefit from short courses.