ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation is a fully automated system that is basically used for determining the eligibility of visitors with plans of travelling to the United States by way of the VWP or Visa Waiver Program. This system is also used for determining whether this kind of travel poses any security risk or law enforcement. ESTA approval allows travellers to board carriers for travel to the United States under the VWP. Here it is important to note that private carriers travelling to the United States should be a participant visa waiver program carrier. While it is recommended to apply for ESTA approval minimum 72 hours prior to travelling, people can apply any time before boarding a carrier. The applicants can expect responses within seconds of application submission.
Who should Apply for ESTA?
ESTA should not be considered a VISA. This is because it does not meet the legal requirements for serving in lieu of a US visa when a visa is needed. The ones possessing valid US visas might travel to the US on that specific visa for a specific purpose for which the visa was issued. The ones travelling to the US on valid visa do not have the obligation of applying for an ESTA. However, it is to be understood that just like a valid visa does not come with the guarantee of admission to the US, an approved ESTA does not guarantee admission to the United States. All those individuals who intend to travel to the United States by sea or by air must apply for ESTA. Canadian citizens travelling to US with a Canadian passport need not apply for ESTA and this also goes for the citizens of VWP country travelling to the US by land.
Checking and Verifying ESTA Status
It is always possible for individuals to check and verify their ESTA status. There are a number of reasons for checking and verifying ones travel authorization for the United States. There are many individuals who might want to get an idea about the expiration date of their ESTA or retrieve their authorization number prior to moving out for the next trip to the US. In case your ESTA has expired, it is necessary for you to reapply for your ESTA prior to entering the United States. It is important for you to check and verify your ESTA status if:
- You do not have any idea about the expiration of your travel authorization
- You are completely unsure of the fact that whether you have actually applied for ESTA
- Your application number has gone missing.
- You have someone in your family or travel group who is uncertain about his or her ESTA document or ESTA status.
You can check the ESTA status instantly for verifying the date of issue; the date of expiration or for verifying that the information provided in absolutely correct.
In case, you check your ESTA status and find that your travel authorization to the United States has expired, it is time for a reapplication. You need to reapply for ESTA if you wish to travel to the United States by making use of the VWP or Visa Waiver Program. Here, it is important for you to know that travel authorizations for visits to the United States are valid for a time span of two years.