The rules for obtaining ESTA are varied, but apply to everyone the same. An ESTA document is an authorization issued by the United States government to nationals of the Visa Waiver Program, if they request it. It allows these people to travel to the USA without having to apply for a visa at the American embassy or consulate.

The rules for obtaining ESTA have been determined by the Department of Homeland Security. If you do not comply with them or if you do not meet the conditions for obtaining them, there is a good chance that your ESTA request will be refused.

But what are the rules for obtaining ESTA? Who can request it and why? Answers in our article.


The rules for obtaining ESTA are diverse and varied. You should know that the internal security of the United States is taken very seriously by the American government. This is why these rules for obtaining ESTA authorization are numerous and that you must comply with them if you want to return to the American territory with peace of mind.

First, as expressed in the introduction, the applicant must be a national of a country that is part of the VWP. Currently, there are 38 countries involved in the visa waiver program.


Germany GreeceNorway
  AndorraHungaryNew Zealand
Australia Ireland  Portugal
Austria Iceland Czech republic
Belgium   ItalyUK
  BruneiJapan  Saint-Martin
  ChileNetherlands Singapore
South KoreaLatvia  Slovaquia
Denmark  Liechtenstein    Slovénia
Spain  LituaniaSweden
  Estonia  LuxembourgSwiss
Finland   Malta  Taïwan
  France  Monaco 

The length and type of stay are also of great interest in the rules for obtaining the ESTA. In fact, the stay must not exceed the maximum 90 consecutive days and must be a trip for tourist, business or transit purposes (for example, if you have to go through the USA to go to Mexico or Canada) .

If you wish to go to the USA for a period of stay longer than 90 days, or if you plan to go to American soil to carry out an internship, study there or even work there, you will need to apply for a visa Specific USA, at the US Embassy.

Obviously, the biometric or electronic passport has all its importance in the rules for obtaining the ESTA authorization. This must be valid when requesting ESTA, but also during the entire stay in the USA. It is therefore advisable to plan the expiration date at least three months after the scheduled return date.

You should know that ESTA has a validity period of two years, which allows you to make several trips of less than 90 consecutive days in the United States. However, this ESTA authorization is linked to the passport number, which means that if you change your passport during the two years of your ESTA, your document will no longer be valid and a new ESTA request will have to be made in connection with your new one. passport.

The ESTA authorization request can only be made online, as it is an electronic travel authorization system. This allows all requests to be gathered in one place and to have faster and easier access to data for the American authorities.

To request a visa waiver document, you must complete the online ESTA application form available on the U.S. government website, or use an independent website that will complete the application for you, to verify your requests and increase your chances of not making mistakes in your request. You will also need to order your return ticket beforehand to make your ESTA request.

The ESTA form is an online form made up of different sections about your personal data, your valid passport or your medical and legal history.


As other rules for obtaining ESTA authorization, we can note that people who went to Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, or even Somalia, and this, after the date of March 1, 2011, may be denied ESTA application . The same goes for people who have applied for a visa in the past and who have been refused.

As explained above, the organized trip must not exceed 90 consecutive days and must have a tourist, transit or business purpose. People must be part of the VWP and must answer a series of questions, in particular on their state of physical health (compared to tuberculosis for example) or mental (mental problems).

An ESTA authorization request must be made at least 72 hours before departure for your trip to the USA.