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Why is ESTA required?


In formal terms: Section 217(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to enhance the current Visa Waiver Program security features. ESTA is one of several measures taken to fulfill the security requirement.

ESTA FAQ, Why is ESTA required? Image

Basically there was a need to both speed up entry to the US and to provide sufficient time for the authorities to perform the background checks on people. This enables greater safely when flying, and also decreased processing time when arriving in the USA.

ESTA Travel Registration for USA

As of 12th January 2009 everyone wanting to travel to USA from the 26 countries that do not require a Visa at the moment will have to complete an online US Travel Registration ESTA form up to 3 days before the trip. This will help travelers register for 2 years for entry into the US for holidays. If you are traveling from any of these countries to USA you will need to complete the online ESTA form.

The current countries covered by the ESTA Via Waiver Program are:

Andorra Iceland Norway Austria Italy San Marino Germany
Australia Ireland Portugal Belgium Japan Singapore New Zealand
Brunei Liechtenstein Slovenia Finland Monaco Sweden United Kingdom
Denmark Luxembourg Spain France Netherlands Switzerland  

Anybody traveling to USA are asked to Register 3 days in advance to travel. The form can be completed online and is called “Electronic System for Travel Authorisation”, or ESTA. You can complete you application here: ESTA Application Page ESTA has been designed to allow for the accommodation of last minute and emergency travellers and you will no longer have to fill out a green Visa Waiver form on the Aircraft. The ESTA form requires your flight details - so if you are planning to travel to USA ensure you have booked your flight and have the flight details before you complete the ESTA form.

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