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Electronic System for Travel Authorization – Not an Alternative to US Visas

WHAT IS ESTA?

Foreign nationals from countries belonging to the Visa Waiver Program are now required to have an approved travel authorization from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States by air or sea. This is given in the form of an electronic permit and determines the eligibility of visitors traveling to the US under this program. In addition to this approved travel authorization they must also have an e-passport which is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip.

While an ESTA approval authorizes a traveler to board a carrier for travel to the United States, it does not act as a visa nor should it be used in lieu of a visa since it does not meet the legal requirements of a US visa. Travelers who have had a previously issued valid visa should continue to travel on that visa and are not required to apply for an ESTA in addition to the visa. To be noted, an approved ESTA does not guarantee admission to the United States.

HOW IT WORKS

ADVANTAGES OF ESTA

DISADVANTAGES OF ESTA

Find more information on how the Department of Homeland Security tightened the visa waiver program to take into account the newly announced travel bans and who qualifies for the ESTA at www.path2usa.com.

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