The United States of America (USA) is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Millions of Americans travel abroad each year, and they are welcomed by a plethora of welcoming countries that offer them with amazing destinations for sightseeing and cultural experiences.
In order to make traveling easier, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also offers a simpler method to enter the country without going through the traditional long lines at the airport immigration counter. This procedure, known as ESTA, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization, makes it possible for travelers to get into the USA without having to submit any documents at all.
This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to apply for an American ESTA online if you want to visit the USA or Canada. These guidelines cover all the requirements for obtaining a valid ESTA authorization, which means you don’t have to worry about not being able to enter the country.
Here are some things you should know before applying for an American ESTA.
1. What is the purpose of the ESTA?
The ESTA is a program that allows citizens from certain countries to obtain a free temporary entry stamp (also called an I-94W) at their port of arrival. In order to be eligible to participate in the ESTA, applicants must meet the following conditions:
- They must be 21 years old or older.
- They must be able to show that they hold a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months beyond their intended return date in the USA.
- They must show evidence of sufficient funds for their trip.
- They must prove that they have no criminal convictions.
These are some of the factors that determine whether or not someone qualifies for an ESTA. To find out more details about what you need to do to qualify for the ESTA, read our guide on how to apply for the ESTA here.
There is not just a single purpose of the esta form. A person should gather the main motive to fill the form. If the motive will be clear then they will fill them with more accuracy. The main motive of people is to get the results that will take them to abroad city in the short period. If the people will full form with accuracy then reaching the goals is easy.
2. What happens after you complete the ESTA application?
Once you have successfully submitted the completed ESTA form, you can expect your ESTA approval email within 24 hours – it could take longer depending on the time of day when you applied. The next thing you should do is print out your ESTA approval letter, sign it, and keep it somewhere safe until you arrive at the USA border.
You must fill out the entire document yourself and attach it to the backside of your passport. You will then need to present this to the customs officer at the border. If you are crossing into the USA from Canada, you will need to use this approved ESTA letter to cross the border.
3. How do you get the ESTA approval letter?
If you are looking into getting an ESTA approval letter for a trip to the USA, you can expect to receive it via email within 24 hours of submitting the ESTA application form. When you receive your approval letter, make sure you follow these steps:
Print out the letter and save it for future reference.
Sign the letter and keep it in a safe place where you won’t lose it.
Attach the signed letter to the back of your passport so that you will not forget to bring it with you to the USA border.
Keep your passport with you at all times while you are in the USA.
To learn more about how to get through TSA checkpoints, scroll down to our guide on how to avoid long TSA lines.
4. Can you apply for an ESTA outside of normal business hours?
Yes! You can apply for an ESTA during off-peak hours. ESTA applications can be made even when the office location is closed, but the applicant needs to wait until the office opens again to submit the application. It doesn’t matter what time you make the request, as long as you submit it no later than 10 am on the day the office opens.
5. What happens if you don’t submit the ESTA application form within three days?
If you don’t submit the ESTA application form within three days after submitting your ESTA application form, you may risk losing your opportunity to enter the US.
This rule applies only if you didn’t follow all the steps outlined above. Here’s what the Department of Homeland Security has to say about this: “Unauthorized entries into the United States are considered violations of law. Therefore, those who enter the United States without proper documentation cannot be protected under the Visa Waiver Program.”
Also, if you fail to file your ESTA application form within three days, you will be required to pay $6 per person as a fee for every additional 30 days between when your ESTA was initially denied and when you finally made the submission.
If you are unable to comply with the rules set forth by DHS, you will be required to undergo a secondary screening process in order to gain access to the USA.
6. Do you need a passport to apply for the ESTA?
No, you don’t need a passport to apply for an ESTA. However, you need to have a valid passport to enter the USA. If you are planning to visit the USA, you should consider buying a new one if you haven’t already got one. We have a guide on how to buy a new passport here.
7. Are there any other forms of identification you need to submit to get an ESTA approval letter?
No, there aren’t. You only need to provide proof that you are over 21 years old. If you have a photo ID that shows your current address, you can just upload that to your ESTA application form.