As per the 9/11 Commission Act inspection of each sea and air cargo entering the US needs to be inspected. It has been made mandatory for enhancing America’s Security Act.
The United States Government introduced Visa Waiver Program [VWP]. Under this program citizens of specific countries were allowed to travel to the US for business, tourism or for 90 days transit without obtaining a visa. Countries included in the VWP are well-developed. To take advantage of VWP, you require to obtain ESTA travel authorization.
It also means if you are transiting without visa using VWP then you will need US ESTA travel authorization.
What is ESTA?
Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an approval that authorizes traveler to get on the US flight under VWP. Remember, it is not a visa. Generally, it does not fulfill legal needs of the US visa, especially when visa is needed. Therefore travelers transiting on valid visas must not apply for ESTA. Holding genuine visa does not give the traveler a surety to enter the US. Similarly, approved ESTA does not guarantee access within the US. VWP travelers don’t need to complete green I-94W card.
How ESTA is advantageous?
Quick trips are easy
VWP travelers can enter the US without going through the standard B-1 visa process but need ESTA approval. Every time they make a visit to the US, they need to enter a special system called ‘VISIT’. This program makes use of fingerprints as well as other biometric data to monitor frequent visitors. The visitors can arrive and leave often with less delay, as the ESTA visa is valid for 90 days.
Moreover, the VWA traveler just need 72 hours to apply before their flight to the US. Just apply for the ESTA online and get confirmation very shortly.
User friendly process.
VWP traveler can apply for an ESTA online. It takes just 10 minutes to fill the application form and submit. Unlike standard visa process, there is no need to give several paperwork to prove that you will return back to your home country or you don’t intend to stay in the US after your visa expires.
No face–to-face interview
Unlike standard visa needs, ESTA applicants do not need to undergo face-to-face interview. Thus eligible applicants save plenty of money and time in preparation of trip to the US. Validity for an ESTA visa is for consecutive 2 years, which is also an advantage for those traveling frequently or on short notice.
Updated and secure process
System is well-designed to avert fake passport, stolen passport, identity fraud, and terrorism. It is capable to make positive identification of every visitor. In addition, anyone with ESTA visa overstays, they get spotted easily.
Other requirements to keep in mind
- If your ESTA expires, when you are in the US then your departure will not get affected.
- Passport of ESTA applicants expires within 2 years then they will get an approval for the term until their passports expiry date.
- New ESTA approval is crucial if you change your name, get new passport, change your gender, change of citizenship, or convicted of any crime or develop contagious disease.
Frequent travelers from VWP countries need to consider ESTA visa because it is very fast, convenient and lasts longer in comparison to other visa kinds.