Thousands of people travel to the United States every day. For visas alone, there are just over 80 different US visas depending on the reasons for each trip. It is important to always prepare the trip in advance since in general, applying for a visa can take several weeks.
Why don’t all countries participate in the US Visa Waiver Program?
The ESTA regulations are one of the factors determining its implementation in any country. First of all, it is not a mandatory system. Its establishment is the result of a bilateral agreement between the two countries. As far as regulations go, the passports of everyone who participates must be machine-readable.
If a country does not yet issue electronic or biometric passports, then there is no chance of participating in the program. Payment for ESTA is usually made by bank transfer. But if you go through a site specializing in the submission of ESTA requests, then you will be able to carry out the transaction in another way, such as with online payment accounts. The country of origin must have an Internet system with a secure electronic payment system.
What is the ESTA for exactly?
The ESTA is actually a travel authorization through which the traveler will not have to provide a visa to travel to the United States. It is therefore not a visa. Arriving at the border posts, your passport will be carefully checked, as will the purpose of your trip. In the event that the customs officer finds an anomaly, he has the right to send the traveler directly back to his country of origin. The scope of the ESTA is very limited since it is only reserved for tourists and people on business trips. The duration of a trip that is carried out with the ESTA must not exceed 90 days although the ESTA remains valid for 2 years following the acceptance of your request.
An ESTA is not necessary if you are traveling by bus to Canada
It is possible to leave the United States, to other countries that share the same borders as Canada or Mexico, even if the arrival was done with an ESTA. Moreover, an ESTA is an authorization of entry and not of exit. To get to Canada by bus, for example, you have to fill out a form when you arrive at the border and pay a few fees.
In general, nationals of countries that participate in the ESTA program do not need a Canada visa to enter the territory. The Canadian authorities have a list of countries according to which their nationals are authorized to enter their country without a visa. These nationals just need a valid passport. On the other hand, the displacement must not last more than 90 days.