ESTA guarantee of entry to the USA?
Traveling to the United States is not as easy as traveling to another country in the European Union. Indeed, the borders are still very present between the USA and the rest of the world. But there is a device facilitating access to the US territory: the ESTA. How to obtain it and does it mean a systematic acceptance? We detail what the ESTA can do and to what extent it guarantees entry into the United States.
ESTA authorization: explanations
ESTA, or ESTA authorization, is a feature of the Visa Exemption Program. For the countries participating in the program, including France, it is possible for their nationals to apply. Before embarking, it is first and foremost necessary to ensure that you meet the following conditions:
- Possess a valid biometric or electronic passport;
- Possess an online payment method to pay the application fees, ESTA being only available on the internet;
- Plan a stay of 90 days maximum;
- Plan a stay for a tourist or business purpose (unpaid).
When ESTA is issued, you will then have 2 years to go to the United States, validity of the document , or until the current passport expires. You can then travel and present yourself at the borders of the country, but the authorization of entry to the territory is not assured thanks to this document.
ESTA: guaranteed admission?
It is important to distinguish between being admitted to the border and being allowed to enter the United States. The ESTA authorization does not guarantee to be accepted but only to be allowed to travel to the country. Only a visa application ensures that you can enter without the risk of being refused by customs officers. But this procedure is much longer and more expensive than an ESTA authorization .
There is no need to worry! The ESTA issue rate is high, as is the authority to cross the border. Customs officers will ask you a few questions, which you have already answered when filling out the form. If you have been honest, there is no reason for you to be sent home.