Many travelers who intend to travel to the United States for a short stay or a vacation often ask themselves what the Esta visa is and what the correct way to fill it is. Before understanding what is the way to get it, it is appropriate to understand what it is.
The term Esta (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) refers to the telematic authorization of the American government with which all travelers who have declared that they do not represent in any way (from a legal point of view) are authorized to enter the country a threat to the country, to public order and to its security. The purpose of this declaration is to prevent individuals who do not respect these royalties from entering the country by means of ships or planes.
The form available online is nothing more than a certification of your data in order to allow the US authorities to verify the identity, origin and characteristics of tourists who go to the country. In this way, thanks to an electronic system, foreign citizens are authorized to enter US soil. The ESTA visa has a total validity of 90 days (about 3 months) whether you go for business reasons or that the trip is organized for business reasons.
The online form for obtaining an ESTA visa must be strictly filled in by travelers at the latest 72 hours before departure (to allow processing and confirmation). It is necessary to specify that even if ESTA has been obtained, a passenger can be rejected at the passport control carried out at the airport after landing. Specifically, the agents in charge of airport control must verify that the passport is valid and belongs to the person who owns it. Afterwards, a biometric check will be carried out with a special tool and finally will ask travelers some questions to confirm the reason for the trip (comparing the declarations with the information entered in the ESTA form), their destination, contact details and time of stay in the country .
Once the applicant has accessed the portal for the ESTA visa application, all the traveler's data must be entered, including:
• name and surname;
• date of birth, country and place;
• passport number;
• passport issue and expiry date;
During this phase it will be necessary to specify if you have another passport, if you travel frequently in the United States and if you are part of the CBP Global Etry or a program dedicated to this category of travelers. All travelers must have their own passport (including children and infants) and the relevant data must be correctly entered in the request.
As a final step, following the insertion of personal data, the form presents each applicant with a series of questions relating to their family and work. Specifically, the name and surname of the father and mother will be requested (if they are unknown, it is possible to specify it), the name of the employer (specifying their profession) and the company for which this task is carried out , if you are a seasonal worker, if you work by the hour, if you have a part-time contract and if you are self-employed. All data must be entered correctly in order to avoid the invalidity of the ESTA visa which obliges the traveler to sign a new request. For this reason it is always recommended to carefully check the data entered before confirming the form.
In the third point of the ESTA request, it is necessary to provide the contact details of one of the travelers who apply to travel to the United States. It is important to carefully choose the e-mail address to which the confirmation of the ESTA declaration will be sent, as this will be valid for all travelers who have previously been included in the completed application form.
The third part of the ESTA application form provides for the insertion of data regarding the future trip that will take place in the United States. In particular, at this point of filling in the form, it will be necessary to provide a contact in the USA (which for tourists corresponds for example to the name of the hotel or apartment in which you will be staying) as well as information on the first location where you will go to stay, once you arrive in the United States and also a contact (telephone and e-mail) to rely on in case of emergency.
As for the latter, it is possible to provide one that is internal or possibly external to the United States. The compilation of the contact in the USA is in fact optional, in the absence of knowledge it will be possible to simply write "unknown" and in the request for the telephone number of this contact "0000000000". When, possibly, you have a name and a telephone number to contact in case of emergency , you can proceed to insert the contact at a later time. In the same way, it is optional to complete the field in which the address of the first place where you will go to stay once in the United States is requested.
This speech, however, is not valid regarding the emergency contact request not in the USA. It will therefore be necessary, at this point, to report the name of a relative, friend or colleague who will not take part in the trip and may be available in case of emergencies. In the event that the air travel to the United States involves stopovers and transits through countries, it is necessary to indicate this within this form. Otherwise you simply have to answer the question regarding possible transits in other states during the journey.
In the last part of the ESTA form, some questions will need to be answered which will verify the suitability of the requesting traveler to enter the United States. In particular, it will be asked if drugs have been used in the past, questions will be asked about the applicant's health and finally questions about psychiatric problems in the past and / or any criminal record. Continuing, you will be asked if the traveler has visited or traveled to the following countries in the past: Libya, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia and Yemen. Currently it is possible to answer the question by simply ticking the yes or no. In this case, for those who answer yes (one) to one or more of these last questions, a refusal of the ESTA request is foreseen. Ultimately the traveler will be asked to accept the waiver of rights. This type of declaration specifically means a commitment on its part to avoid filing an appeal once the U.S. decision has been received. Customs and Border Protection (i.e. the office in charge of customs control and border protection in the United States), regarding the eligibility or not in the United States. In conclusion, the applicant must declare that he answered all the above questions truthfully and completely.
It is important to pay attention when filling out all fields of the ESTA form application, to avoid incurring errors that could make it impossible to leave and carry out your trip to the United States. In any case, there is the possibility of confusing and making a mistake in entering the answers in the fields, in this case it is necessary to differentiate between errors that do not allow access to the United States and errors that are instead considered of lesser gravity. The cases in which you risk receiving a refusal of access authorization in the United States are: insertion of incorrect data in your passport, unsuitable answers to the questionnaire that plans to put a tick on yes or no, the wrong writing of your name and surname (it may occur simply because of a distraction in typing the letters) or you declare begging to have been (after the date of March 1, 2011) in one of the above mentioned countries (Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Somalia) .
In the event that, for these reasons, you receive a refusal to apply for access to the United States, you will need to go to the Embassy or the US Consulate. The wrong answers for which a refusal to enter the United States should not be feared are those concerning: filling in the form in which you are asked to enter the address where you will be residing in the United States, the general references regarding the applicant's social account and his contact and employment information, as well as the contact details of an emergency contact (whether this be from the traveler's country of origin or the United States).
Once you have completed all the questions asked by the ESTA form, you will need to click on the request button, to be then redirected to the verification page. This is the last useful moment to focus on the search for any compilation errors and in the event that they are found, it will be possible to click on edit to correct the data and then click on save to make them definitive. Once this part has been completed, you can select the desired payment method and complete the application. The request for the ESTA form will be processed only after payment has been made.
The times for obtaining the form, once completed and sent the request, vary from a few hours, up to a maximum of 48 hours from the payment made. In the event, this is a delay that may be due to the time taken to check the requests received by the competent authorities, responsible for verifying the truthfulness of what is claimed within the received ESTA application forms.
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