What The ESTA VISA Program Does To Help Protect The Country

When it comes to visiting the US from abroad, some countries have nearly unlimited access to VISA’s while other countries need to apply and wait. Many countries were basically “pre-approved” to visit the US for up to 90 days in order to vacation, conduct business, or other purposes without prior VISA approval. But, starting 2009, all of that changed, with those same visitors needing to register beforehand if they were to arrive by plane or ship if they were planning on entering the US. This was called the ESTA program.

Crossing By Land Was Exempted

This was considered a convenience matter since many thousands of people cross the land borders daily and getting VISA’s would prove cumbersome. However, the nearly 20,000,000 visitors from the previously exempt countries were having to pre-register at least 72 hours prior to crossing. Each ESTA Travel Authorization is good for 2 years, so once a person was registered they needn’t worry for awhile.

People could register online at the ESTA government website in order to facilitate things. Once a person was registered the data was compared to many different law enforcement databases to check whether the person was wanted, part of a terrorist organization, or otherwise banned from entering. Then the VISA would be either denied or approved. Failure to apply before arriving would be a huge mistake as foreign travelers were forbidden from submitting for the applications at the airport.

Since no prior plans or itinerary is required to apply for the approval, it’s best to apply months in advance, even before you make your plans to visit the US. And visitors are not required to update any plans after approval, so a person need not worry about that.

Even Though A Person Is Approved, Entry Isn’t Guaranteed

Although it may sound confusing, the VISA approval doesn’t guarantee admission. A person will still have to go through customs and speak with officers before entry. Some VISA’s will even still require a person to travel to the US Embassy for an interview with the Consular Officer, this would apply to the B1/B2 Visitor VISA’s.

The new program was designed to be another safeguard against terrorism and criminals entering the US. It adds an additional layer of security for those arriving by ship or plane. It gives law enforcement additional time to check people against the databases and make sure they are allowed to enter the US. It’s another way to help keep American safe at home without causing undue harm to tourism or business interests.


Make Sure You’re Prepared For Visiting The US

When entering the United States you need to have a valid visa. If you’re travelling for business, wanting travel by air or sea, or just transiting through the US then you must obtain an ESTA visa for British Citizens. It’s best to be applied for in advance as if done online it can take either minutes or up to 72 hours to find out, whether it’s been accepted or not. It only takes a short amount of time to apply as all you need to do is fill in a form and then submit the payment. The visa will last 2 years or until your passport runs out. It is generally valid for multiple trips and as long as it’s valid you won’t need to reapply during the 2 year period. You qualify to get a visa if you have a valid passport, are a citizen of an eligible country or you plan to stay in the US for a duration which will not exceed the 90 days. Once the visa is applied for and hopefully accepted it means that people can just relax and get ready for their holiday. The application is generally sorted quickly so that it doesn’t cause any issues to those applying for it.

There are so many different places you should consider visiting for example if you’re in Florida and have your children with you then you should visit The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, Discovery Cove and the Magic Kingdom. A few other great places to visit with friends or alone would be the stunning Chihuly garden and glass, the mysterious Alcatraz Island and the Grand Canyon. You could even go skiing in the Rocky Mountains or visit the Redwood National Park in California; this is full of stunning nature and some of the world’s biggest trees which rise up towards the sky, just like skyscrapers. If you like country music and BBQ diners then you should head towards Atlanta and Virginia. You could visit Alaska, Americas own winter wonderland, or you could try Hawaii the countries holiday paradise.

There are certain things you need to make sure to remember such as when buying an alcoholic drink you are expected to tip the bartender at least a dollar per drink and when you go out for a meal you’re expected to tip around 20%; this is an obligation not a choice. They have a sales tax on clothing in the majority of stores, the tax percentage does vary dependent upon the store. The food sizes are surprisingly bigger, so its fine for you to ask to take food home, it will most likely be expected due to how much they provide; but it is delicious. They do however do some things slightly different with food such as they don’t have brown sauces, chips don’t come with everything and they don’t eat meat pies.