Simplifying the ESTA process for US travel visa
It is easy to apply for US travel visa under VWP as you only need filling ESTA application to obtain permission to enter into the US territory.
US government made a special visa program for travelers coming for less than 90 days. It is called Visa Waiver Program and its objective was to facilitate tourism and trade and commerce. Every year millions of visitors come to US and they have to go through a lengthy process of visa but now visitors can apply for permission to enter US territory under VWP.
The Visa Waiver Program came into force on 1986 and in August 2008, US came strengthened the VWP with a special program called ESTA USA visa. It is Electronic System for Travel Authorization provided under VWP and its objective is to further ease the visa conditions for travelers applying under the VWP. Electronic system is a prescreening process that remains valid for two years or until the visa holder has a valid passport.
Visa status under ESTA
ESTA is an electronic system for screening the travelers and it isn’t a visa itself. A visitor arrives at a US airport with an ESTA number in his hands. He hands over his travel documents along with the ESTA number to US Customs and Border Protection and waits for the approval. Soon he is allowed to enter US. The ESTA number helps the CBP officers establish reliability of the traveler.
Electronic ESTA visa for USA is easy to obtain but it is available for short journey that is up to 90 days. If the visa holder wishes to stay beyond 90 days’ time then he needs applying for a regular visa through US embassy. VWP is strictly for visitors that want to come to US for short stay. Visa application under WVP can be submitted online and permission obtained within an hour. Also applicants are free to apply for visa anytime they are comfortable.
Eligibility for VWP
Applicant has to be a citizen of country participating in the VWP and also he must be a respectable citizen holding a valid passport. Travelers can submit applications on US government website or they can take advantage of travel sites that help in submitting ETSA applications. Earlier, it was free to apply for electronic visa but now US government has levied a fixed $14 for the same.
There is no renewal for USA ESTA visa. Once it is expired, a fresh application has to be submitted. The visa expires automatically, if passport is lost or changed for any reason like change of name. One should be careful when entering details in the visa application. Wrong entries must be corrected as soon as they are noticed by some entries like name and citizen status can’t be changed. Also you can request your travel partner to fill your visa application but responsibility of providing authentic details will be yours.
Should I take help of a third party site to fill my visa application?
ESTA visa application is available on US government website and also there are many third party sites that provide the application. There is no harm in using a third party site for submitting visa application but you have to be careful in selecting a third party site.
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