This week I’ve teamed up with Josh Hobson & Sophie Jones, two marketing students from the University of Liverpool, to talk about travelling to the United States of America with ESTA. It’s a difficult time for millions of people due to Trump’s immigration ban, but for those privileged enough to have a passport from one of the 38 “program countries”, it’s easy.
Planning a trip the United States doesn’t have to be hard work. In fact, quite the contrary. More often than not, most people have figured out where they’re going to visit, how much money they will need for the duration of their stay and other miscellaneous tasks, such as visas.
Although that’s true, visas need not be worried about any longer. A simple approach has been developed in the form of an ESTA. The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) was created in order to allow for easy access into the United States for citizens of 38 countries including France, Germany, Singapore, Malta, The United Kingdom and more (you can see the full list here).
The ESTA has made travelling to the US a lot simpler; applications are completed solely online, with a response taking only a matter of minutes in most cases, although response times can take up to 72 hours.
Furthermore, the ESTA allows for unlimited entry into the United States during a two-year period. During any given visit to the US, you are allotted a 90 day period to roam around. The ESTA is perfect if you have business or pleasure intentions within the US.
Also, if you have a connecting flight that involves landing in the US, you will also require the ESTA. However, if you’re flying over US airspace, you’re safe and will not be required to obtain an ESTA.
There are certain criteria which must be fulfilled before being eligible for an ESTA. As previously mentioned, you must be from one of the 38 listed countries that qualify for the programme. You must ensure that you are in possession of an electronic passport. You must have an internet connection, as the application is online.
Finally, it is important to know that just because your ESTA has been approved, this does not mean you will be allowed into the country. Officials at the airport have the final say on this matter. Whilst at the airport, you may be asked to show evidence of sufficient funding for the duration of your stay, so be sure to keep a copy of this information with you.
For more information, visit their website at www.estaform.org, or take a look at this short video. They have also put together a very useful infographic, giving you all the information regarding the ESTA in one easy-to-read infographic which you can save for future reference.
I know these are turbulent times for the USA and pretty much most other countries, but all we can do is stay strong, support each other and keep pushing for a better outcome. My heart goes out to everybody affected by this angry, orange man and I hope you know that not all Americans are as awful and racist as he and the majority of his voters are.