The change in the US government did not create major changes in terms of entry into the United States for European citizens. As we know, those who have citizenship or passport of a European country that is within the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) only need a permit called ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) to enter the United States instead of processing a visa that requires much more time and money.
First of all, we must identify what the ESTA is, who can process it, how is the system to obtain it, and what are its costs and duration.
Those citizens who have a European passport from a VWP country and travel to the New York, the United States for business or pleasure for less than 90 days will be able to process the ESTA permit online. If you enter the United States as a passenger in transit, you must also request it. The ESTA according to the United States Embassy in our country, does not replace a visa but is a permit to board a ship or plane to the United States and allows the United States government to pre-examine the passengers who will travel.
The countries that are within the Visa Waiver Program are around 40 and, among Europeans, we find Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Switzerland
The ESTA process is simple and does not require much time or anticipation. The same must be requested at least 72 hours before the flight and, in case it is denied, the interested party must apply for a B1 / B2 tourist visa. Once you have obtained the ESTA permit, you must print it and present it at the airport when you check-in. The travel authorization has a cost of US $ 14 and is valid for 2 years. It can be renewed as many times as desired online.
In case you change your passport, name, gender, country of citizenship, and legal or medical circumstances, you must apply for a new ESTA permit.
In summary, those who wish to obtain the ESTA must be travellers with a European passport from countries belonging to the VWP, whose trip does not exceed 90 days in the United States, whose purpose is vacations, business, short-term medical treatment or air stopover, that they have correctly completed the information requested in the online form and made the corresponding payment.
Citizens of 39 countries can enter the United States without a visa when the purpose of their trip is to do tourism, business, or receive medical treatment under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
This article informs about which countries are, how the VWP applies to people with dual nationality, under what circumstances this privilege is lost to travel without a visa when it is mandatory to apply for a Travel Authorization known as ESTA, and, finally, the disadvantages of travelling without a visa to the United States, the special case of Canadians and tips to avoid having problems as tourists.
List of 39 countries authorized to enter without a visa
Citizens of the following countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program when the purpose of the trip is tourism, business, or medical treatment:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- Poland – last to join the program since November 11th, 2019
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel and Man Islands only)
- Czech Republic
- San Marino