ESTA is a computerized system used for determining the eligibility of people traveling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Applicants must meet a number of requirements for their travel authorization application to be approved. Even if one was to land authorization, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers reserve the final word and can grant or deny a traveler’s admissibility upon arrival. They can also cancel ESTA at any time of your stay upon suspicion of discrepancies in your application. Some of the requirements for an ESTA USA application include:
In order to gain entry to the U.S., you must have come from one of the 38 eligible countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. In order to use the VWP, you are required to have an e-passport that has an embedded electronic chip. The biographic page of your passport should have a machine-readable section that will show the holders’ biometric data and also track your most recent movements. When applying for ESTA USA make sure your passport is valid all through to the time of departure from the U.S.
The duration of stay should not exceed 90 days and if your ESTA expires or is canceled, you are expected to leave the country within the 90 days. Travelers wishing to make an extension of more than 90 days should apply for a visa from the nearest U.S. Consulate. You cannot renew your ESTA while still the United States. You must stipulate the purpose of your visit – tourism business, social event or recreation.
You are required to make an ESTA application 72 hours in advance whether you are gaining entry to the U.S. via sea or air in order for eligibility to be determined. The Department of Homeland Security lay down the rules and make any updates if need be.