The trip to the United States is the dream in the drawer that, before or after, must be realized. For many of us, the transatlantic flight towards the USA represents a fundamental step in the personal imagination that will then turn into an indelible memory, in a thousand stories to tell and in as many experiences to be relived in other geographical contexts.
If finally the fateful moment of preparing the bags arrived, it is the case not to get caught up too much by the euphoria of the departure and to take care of every little detail with due attention.
In order not to run into unpleasant inconveniences and setbacks that could jeopardize the success of the departure, the first thing to do is to get all the necessary documentation for entry into the USA.
The regulations in force are very strict and scrupulous, and the controls, as a logical consequence, do not allow any kind of lack or defect.
The electronic travel authorization is the first aspect to consider.
Electronic authorization to travel to the United States
It is Electronic System for Travel Authorization, summarized in the acronym Esta.
It literally means electronic system for travel authorization and is a prerequisite required by the US government for all travelers who want to enter the national territory in the Visa Waiver Program, the Program without a visa
To obtain electronic authorization for the trip, it is mandatory to fill out the I-94W form online. Acceptance of the request allows you to disembark in the United States but not necessarily to re-enter the Program without a visa.
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Upon entry, at the Customs and Border Protection, the customs office and border protection, the traveler will be declared eligible or not to the program without a visa on the basis of an interview carried out by the relevant official. A possible non-suitability does not in any way preclude the possibility of submitting an application for a different visa.
It should be borne in mind that an electronic authorization to travel at any time and for any reason can be revoked. Furthermore, the applicant is liable for criminal or administrative sanctions in case of false or fraudulent statements issued at the time of application.
ESTA: How, Where and When
To obtain electronic authorization for travel on the Internet, the following requirements must be met:
- Have citizenship in a Visa Waiver Program beneficiary country,
- Be in possession of a valid passport, stay in the United States for less than 90 days,
- Be in possession of a return ticket, air or sea, issued by a company recognized by the Federal Government.
The same government suggests to forward the request online at least 72 hours before departure to the US, even if most of the requests are processed in a few tens of minutes. In case of non-acceptance, you must apply for a visa to a US embassy or consulate.
This procedure is usually longer than usual because it can include an interview by a consular officer.