Many applicants are confused by the fact that ESTA is an electronic travel authorization, nevertheless it should be printed out. Find out more information about what are the ESTA requirements for an easy entry in the U.S. under the VWP.
Many applicants are confused by the fact that ESTA is an electronic travel authorization linked to their passport. Nevertheless, all travelers need an ESTA print out. Why do you need to print out your ESTA you may ask? The truth is that it is not necessary to have an ESTA printed out and we will explain why.
Find out more information about what are the requirements for an easy entry in the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program and the importance of your ESTA. If you are not from a country in the VWP you need to apply for a tourist or business visa. The documents required for a US tourist visa include a valid passport and an official form.
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The automated system will screen your information in order to determine if you are admissible in the United States. An ESTA is directly associated with your passport number, once an application has been made.
Submitting your ESTA application online means you have entered your personal data such as full name and passport number. Once approved, you will have the right to travel to the United States for a period of two consecutive years. All of the data of your application is recorded and linked to your passport.
Upon arrival at the airport you will be asked for your passport. The Border Control officer will immediately recognise whether or not you have been granted permission to enter the United States. Bear in mind that all the travel authorization data is directly associated with your full name and passport number. An ESTA print out is not obligatory, as your info is electronically linked to the US Immigration system.
The electronic travel authorization (ESTA) is an online process that has been simplified by the American government with the aim of reducing the number of printed paper applications. Therefore, your ESTA application is 100% online and all the necessary authorities, such as the U.S. embassy and U.S. border control, have access to your authorization. As a consequence, you are not required to print out the ESTA confirmation.
Citizens with dual nationality should be careful when applying for the ESTA. If you have more than one passport and wish to apply for the ESTA dual nationality make sure that your passport is from a country in the VWP and that you travel with the passport used during your ESTA application. Even if you have dual nationality you are not obligated to carry an ESTA print out.
Even though the authorities such as the border control officers will all have access to your travel authorization, some airlines might still require proof, before boarding the plane. This is general information, which does not refer to any airline in particular. However, it is probable that at some point during your trip you might be asked to prove your travel authorization. Remember, you are entering the United States without a visa, which might seem confusing to inexperienced crew members or other staff.
Moreover, it is recommended to have the ESTA authorization printed out for your personal records. In this way, you will always have easy access to your reference number. You might need it in case you wish to check your ESTA status or when you need to provide proof of your legal entry to the States to a third party, such as a hotel.
One more thing to consider is if you wish to extend your stay in the US. An ESTA extension is not possible, because the ESTA is valid for two years for visits of up to 90 days. Once it expires, you need to apply for a new one. If you want to stay in the US for a longer period than 90 days you should contact a US embassy or consulate.