The ESTA is a travel authorization allowing many lovers of the USA to be able to stay 90 days maximum on the American territory. To claim this authorization, certain conditions must be observed. Indeed, the applicant must be part of one of the 38 member countries of the VWP (Visa Waiver Program which is a visa waiver program), imperatively have a valid biometric or electronic passport, respect a duration of stay of 90 days at most and travel for tourist, business or transit reasons before a final destination (to Canada , Mexico or Cuba for example). But what about people arriving by land, do they need an ESTA? What are the entry requirements? These are the questions we answer in this article!


ESTA authorization is not compulsory if you are traveling by land from Canada or Mexico. To be more precise, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an obligation for travelers arriving by air or sea. The ESTA visa is therefore not the official document to apply for if you plan to travel by car. If the ESTA application is not required, it can still speed up the process at the border crossing, which can be time-consuming if you arrive without government entry approval.

To apply for ESTA, you can go to the official website of the United States government and fill out the online form or request the services of a private company such as that of our partner. This will avoid making mistakes when filling in the ESTA form and will thus save you time, because the slightest mistake will lead to an immediate refusal of your request by the American authorities. Obtaining authorization is done quickly: 72 hours are enough to obtain a return, we are far from the visitor visa application. The base price for an electronic travel authorization is $ 14, a few additional costs may be added if you seek the assistance of a private company. But as you know, this approach is by no means compulsory, you can very well do without ESTA for your arrival by land.

If you do not wish to order ESTA for your arrival by land on American soil, without the need for a visa, a document exists; we present it to you in the paragraph below.


As mentioned above, nationals in possession of an ESTA can cross the American border without carrying out any other administrative procedures. However, if you are arriving by land and you do not have an ESTA, an officer will give you the I-94W form. You must fill out the document carefully with your personal information and answer a few questions. You will be asked in particular the reason and the duration of your stay in the United States. Do not worry, this is a completely normal process, the United States is very strict in matters of national security. To validate your passage through customs and be able to enter the country of excess, you must have convinced the agent of your good intentions and pay the modest sum of 6 US dollars.

The document I-94W, like ESTA, has a validity period of two years for all your trips, whether you arrive by car, bus, train or even on foot. Before crossing the border by car, make sure you have a valid passport for the duration of your stay, in the event of expiration, your entry into the United States will not be guaranteed! Also, remember, ESTA and the l-94w form can only be used for a short stay. If your trip exceeds the maximum authorized duration (90 days), obtaining a visa will be essential. To find out more about the formalities associated with applying for a visa, do not hesitate to contact the US Consulate or the American Embassy.

It only remains for us to wish you a wonderful trip to the USA ! The American dream can now begin!