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Complete guide to apply!

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Complete guide to apply!

To travel to the US, tourists and French citizens must obtain an electronic travel authorization to go there.

Are you planning to visit the United States soon? If you are a non-US citizen, green card holder, or Canadian citizen, you must obtain this authorization to fly to the US if you have a French passport (France is part of the Visa Waiver Program country, so it is generally not you need VISA but only this flight authorization).

I specify “FLIGHT” because if you are entering the US by land from Canada or Mexico, you do not need an ESTA (Source: CBP website).

The ESTA costs $21 and is valid for 24 months. The 24 months represents the duration during which you are authorized to travel to the US and not remain there.

Let me explain: your ESTA expires in 48 hours and you leave tomorrow, is it possible? The answer is yes ! ESTA is not a visa, but a flight authorization to the USA, once there, it is the border police officer who authorizes it for a maximum of 90 days per stay, and for a maximum of 180 days per 365 day period.

What do you need to apply for ESTA?

To apply, you need a valid passport and an address on the site for your first night (you can change later if you decide to change your plans, the ESTA application will not be affected). You must apply at least 72 hours before your arrival in the United States.

That’s it, at this point you don’t need anything else, we can start the application!

1. Go to the right place to apply for your ESTA!

In fact, I see many people on social media complaining that they paid over $21 per application when they typed ESTA into Google.

To begin with, you should know that the first site that appears in the search results is the only official site, its url is https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ but some people confuse Google ads with natural search results. the engine.

ESTA official website

The sites they advertise are not illegal, but they charge more for the service because they offer a site to help you if needed, but honestly, you can fill out the application yourself!

2. Once on the site, select French as your language

In fact, if you are not 100% fluent in English, I suggest you choose the French language on the top right before starting your application.

Also, I suggest you download my travel guides for the USA with many translations to know just in case. They are in PDF and totally free, click here!

3. We start the request

To do this, click on the button on the home page “Create a new request”, then a submenu will offer you to create an individual request or a group request if you are traveling as a family.

After this step, you must agree to the terms and conditions to access the application form. From there, you will have 6 steps to complete, from your data to the payment of the application.

ESTA application steps

You must honestly answer all the questions you will be asked, then at the end pay for the application, which is now $21 ($14 before June 2022).

Really take the time to complete all the corrections and don’t rush, how many times have I seen people make mistakes in their date of birth or the spelling of their last name or first name.

5. Get the decision

The decision of whether or not you are allowed to fly to the USA is usually instant, but it can take several hours and sometimes days, but don’t worry, this is completely normal, so I suggest you make your request well in advance. of your departure date.

6. Has it been approved? Congratulations!

It’s rare that your ESTA is refused (I’ll talk about that in the FAQ below), so if you’ve done everything right, have a valid French passport, and have never broken US immigration rules, it only remains for you to I wish you a good trip!

7. Prepare your trip to the USA!

If you know my site, you should know that I live in the US and that I love posting articles to give you my advice. Here are some articles I suggest you read before landing in Uncle Sam land:

ESTA FAQ

Is the ESTA a visa?

No, it is an authorization to fly to the USA, it does not guarantee entry to American territory, a CBP agent will question you to assess your admissibility, or not.

Do I need to print the ESTA?

No, it is linked to your passport number, last name and first name! In 20 years I’ve never been asked, the official CBP website even confirms it, but if that puts your mind at ease, print it out!

My passport is expired but not my ESTA, can I travel?

No, you must reapply with your new valid passport.

Can I work in the US with an ESTA?

Nope ! An ESTA is once again an authorization to fly to the US and not a work visa. Even for free, you have no right to work or look for work.

My ESTA has been rejected, what should I do?

There may be several reasons for denial, at which point you may need to apply for a B1 or B2 visa at the US consulate.

If I leave the US in a border country, will I have 90 days in the US again?

Nope ! You must return to your country of origin, it will not work if you go to Mexico or Canada, the CBP agent will give you the same initial duration. If you are returning quickly to spend 90 days in the US, you will need to provide a reason for this extension of your tourist stay.

What name should I put on the ESTA application?

Exactly the same name as on your passport.

I already have a visa for the USA, do I need an ESTA?

Nope.

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I’m Reed, I’m French, I live in Las Vegas. Travel and lifestyle blogger. I love life and I take the opportunity to share with you my discoveries and tips to travel at a good price, discover incredible places and above all take care of yourself if you are a man! Sorry ladies I can’t advise you 🙂 #cancersurvivor

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