The US ESTA process is simple and easy, but the steps you have to take are important indeed. For example, you want to be sure that you’re applying 72 hours ahead of your travel plans. It’s a good idea to apply for the electronic travel authorization ahead of making travel plans because you want to be sure there are no hiccups with your approval. That is how I would want to handle it anyway.
The VWP or Visa Waiver Program applies to certain countries, so one thing you want to do is make sure your country is on the list. If not, you’re going to need to go through the visa process. If you find your country on the list, then you can start the process applying with the electronic system for travel authorization or ESTA. It is an easy online application, and there is a small fee that you’re required to pay.
Many people think that they might need an immigration attorney for this process, but that’s not the case. In fact, you are likely to complete the application in about 5 minutes. The fee is $14, and you will find out if you’re approved soon after submitting your application. Just remember that you want to apply 72 hours ahead of your travels.
You want to make sure you input all the correct information. Your ESTA is good for two years, or until your passport expires. As for your information, you can easily update the address you are going to stay in the US, and you can also update your personal email address. But if anything else changes in the meantime before you travel, you’re going to have to reapply with ESTA.
You will be asked if you have ever been arrested. You want to be honest and straightforward with all information on your application. Arrests aren’t going to automatically make you ineligible. You just have to fill out the application and let the chips fall where they may. The ESTA application process is quick and easy, and you’re going to get your answer about approval real soon.
It’s great that there is a visa waiver program to make things easy on people that are trying to travel to the US. Otherwise, the visa process can be quite tedious and lengthy, and you might just get to avoid it altogether. You must be traveling to the US for less then 90 days though, and that’s just one more stipulation when it comes to applying with US ESTA.