ESTA is an acronym for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA is an online application platform for any persons entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. It was developed by the US administration with intent of conducting a pre-screen on the aforementioned persons. The regulation required was effected as from January 12, 2009 for any person entering the US through air or water. Need more information? Visit ESTA resource.
Visa Waiver Program
Before we delve deep into The ESTA aspect, it`s imperative for us to understand some of the basic definitions under this regulation to make comprehension of the article much easier.
Just like ESTA, the US government, the DHS, also administers the Visa Waiver Program. It facilitates eligible nationals and citizen of designated 38 countries to enter the United States for business or tourism up to 90 days without the need of obtaining a visa.
VWP was inducted in 1986 with an intent of boosting the American tourism and economic sector. The god thing about VWP eligible is that one can travel to the US on a very short notice without having to wait for the visa application process
However, it’s important to realize that when the 90 days lapses, no extension is allowed. In addition, the US government have a right to add or kick a country from the list at will i.e. Uruguay and Argentina were kicked out, and in their place ,Czech, South Korea, and Greece were added.
How Long is ESTA Approval Good for?
ESTA consent is valid for multiple trips to the US for a period of 2 years or at least before your passport expires. As such, it means you do not have the need to undertake a reapply during the validity period provided you have an ESTA authorization.
If you have plans on extending your stay, it`s imperative for you to visit the nearest consulate or embassy to obtain a visa.
You do not have to wait for your ESTA to expire so that you can make a renewal. However, you may make the application before, after or on the expiry period.
Just like the application process, the re-application renewal process is more or less the same. When an ESTA reapplication is approved, the previous ESTA is deemed invalid.
An associated $14.00 is charged for each and every reapplication.
-As from April, 1st 2016, all ESTA applicants are required to have an e-passport with them.
With the ESTA being effected, this is a win win situation for both parties, the US governement and the VWP eligible residents. It will help in boosting the tourism sector and heighten the economic standards of many.