Electronic System For Travel Authorization
ESTA is an electronic travel authorization to enter the United States. It is mandatory if you arrive by sea or by plane, including when in transit through the United States. This request was put in place to facilitate the procedures for entering the United States for nationals of the 40 member countries of the Waiver Visa Program.
ESTA requests are the responsibility of the US Homeland Security Department (DHS) which manages the internal security of the United States. On the other hand, despite your ESTA authorization validated by the DHS, only customs when getting off the plane is able to let you enter American territory.
ESTA validity period
The ESTA authorization is valid for two years from the date of issue. On the other hand, you undertake to report any changes in your situation over the 2-year period, in particular in the event of a change in civil status, legal and medical history. If the validity of your passport expires during these two years your authorization lapses, you will therefore be required to submit a new application.
Do not panic if your ESTA authorization expires during your trip, you will be able to finish and return home because the authorization is only required to enter American territory but not to leave it.
Be careful, even if your ESTA authorization is valid for two years, you cannot stay more than 90 days in the United States. Also be aware that if you are not in possession of a valid ESTA at the airport on the day of your departure, your boarding pass cannot be edited, you will then be unable to board the plane.
If you would like to stay more than 90 days, you have to complete a US visa application.
Are children affected by ESTA
All VWP nationals are affected by the ESTA application regardless of their age. Minor children are therefore also concerned and must be in possession of a travel authorization. Note that for the parent not bearing the same name as the child with whom he is traveling, he must have the family record book. With regard to school trips, a specific authorization must also be in the possession of the traveler.
How to apply for ESTA
There is no need to come to the embassy to apply. To ensure efficient and rapid treatment, the process is only carried out via the Internet on https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/.
What is the price of ESTA
The cost of processing the ESTA application is set at $21 since may 2022. These costs are divided into two parts:
- $4 processing fee for all travelers who submit a claim;
- $17 US Travel promotion fee for all travelers who get an ESTA.
If your request is refused, you will be reimbursed $17.
How to pay my ESTA application
The ESTA request is 100% electronic, therefore payment must be made by credit card on the secure site. This dematerialized approach aims to ensure rapid processing.