The US now has a new Visa that is designed to make travel easier to and from certain countries. It is called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA visum for short. The travelers from the eligible countries are now required to apply for this visa rather than other types like the business B-1 or tourist visas. This is in order to quicken the pace of applications and travel to the US. Those that are entering by land, however, are not required to have this visa. Only travelers by air or sea will need to apply.
The ESTA Visa Takes The Place Of The Others
Technically the ESTA Visa is a waiver of the normal visa and those that are traveling by air or sea will no long have to apply for visas to the US. You can get travel authorization in less than 72 hours before your travel time and it can be done over the Internet on a US.Gov website for convenience.
You still will need a valid passport that is readable by the electronic readers that are at the airport on arrival. All new passports meet this requirement already, but if you an old one you should check to be sure. Only certain countries are in the ESTA system so only those are eligible for the waiver, all other countries must apply for the regular visa and be accepted as usual.
Since the Electronic System for Travel Authorization is only good for up to 90 days, if you plan on visiting for a longer period of time you will need to apply for the standard visa, either tourist, business, or educational. Work is not permitted on this type of visa at all. Plus, most people will have to be fingerprinted or submit some other type of biometric ID on the fist visit. This is to prevent terrorism, fake passports, and identity theft for foreign sources.
People With Dual Citizenship Don’t Need One
If you have dual citizenship with the US and some other country you won’t need this visa at all. But, if you have dual citizenship with an eligible country and a non-eligible country you will need to use your passport from the eligible country to apply and also on entry to the US. Otherwise, if you want to enter using your non-eligible country visa, you’ll need to apply for the standard visa and be accepted.
The new Electronic System for Travel Authorization Visas are faster to obtain and easier to use than the old visa system. If you are from an eligible country, the first visit will take a little longer, but subsequent visits will be faster and with less hassle than usual.