Every nation in the world has heard about the American dream, haven’t they? The United States is known as the land of opportunity, and dogs go down the street tied up with a bagel. Although this is not entirely true, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit the United States. It’s a country with good and bad things, like anywhere else in the world, but the most important thing to remember is that a trip to the U.S. can be a life-changing experience.
Here you can read what you need to know about the United States before travelling there. First, it is impossible to get an idea of the enormous extent of the United States. For you to imagine, a flight from New York to LA lasts as long as one from New York to London. The United States covers most of the North American continent, going from coast to coast.
Although it may not affect you, you should be aware that you can’t explore many states on a vacation. Make an itinerary with the places you want to visit, and start there. One thing that will shock you is the number of people in the US. Usually, the big cities are full, but there are all kind of landscapes and open land to be with yourself.
There are so many cultures in this country that you’ll be perplexed. You can find people of all races and religions, and with very different traditions. It could be said that the United States is a melting pot of different cultures, and that is part of its beauty.
What is ESTA?
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization and it is an automated system designed to assist in determining eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and find out whether such travel presents any law enforcement or security risk. When the ESTA application is completed, the traveller is notified of his or her eligibility to enter the United States of America.
Requirements to apply for ESTA
The following requirements are mandatory to apply for United States ESTA:
- Your passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing your biometric details.
- Travelers must have a passport with at least 6-month validity from the planned date of entry.
- Passport holders must also provide their passport number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).
How long is ESTA valid for?
The United States ESTA is valid for 2 years after issue. It consists of a multiple entry visa and allows for a maximum stay of 90 days Per Entry.
Do children need ESTA?
Every traveller requires their own ESTA before their travel to the U.S. Children listed on their parents’ passport do not qualify for an ESTA. Children must have their own (unexpired) passport to apply for an ESTA.
How long before travelling should I apply for the ESTA?
You must apply at least 3 days before your arrival. Despite ESTA is valid for 2 years, it is recommended that you apply it as soon as possible.
Does ESTA guarantee my entrance to the United States?
No. If your ESTA has been approved, it only confirms that you are eligible to travel to the United States under the visa waiver program, but it does not guarantee that you will be admitted into the United States. Upon arrival in the U.S., you will be inspected by an immigration agent who will determine if you are eligible to enter.
Do I need ESTA if I Already have a valid United States Visa?
Individuals holding a valid visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purposes for which it was issued. People travelling on valid visas do not need to apply for an ESTA.
Do I need to present itinerary details when applying for the ESTA?
No, you do not need to have a confirmed travel itinerary (flights or anything else) before applying.
How long can I stay in the United States?
Maximum stay is 90 days per ticket. The ESTA is valid for 2 years from its approval (or until your passport expires, whichever comes first) and allows you to multiple entries during its validity period. However, each ticket cannot exceed 90 days.
What if my ESTA expires when I’m in the United States?
No. If your ESTA expires after you enter the U.S., it will not affect your departure. However, when you are outside the country you will need to renew your ESTA to re-enter the U.S.
Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
The United Kingdom is currently not listed as a country with risk of yellow fever. However, if you are flying from another country, be sure to check this requirement.