Department of Homeland Security translates into French as the United States Department of Homeland Security, it includes the US Border and Customs agency in charge of issuing the ESTA . We present this organization through its history, its organization and its missions.


The Department of Homeland Security (US Department of Homeland Security ) was created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. From the context, it is easy to imagine that the purpose of this government entity is the protection of American territory against any type of attack or threat.

Eleven days after the terrorist attacks, the governor of Pennsylvania was promoted to First Secretary of Homeland Security by the White House (the American president was George W. Bush at the time).

The Department of Homeland Security was officially created in November 2002, following the ratification of the Homeland Security Act, which can be translated into French by the law on internal security. This department unifies, and takes under its thumb, 22 federal agencies linked to the country’s security. It took office in the United States government in March 2003.


The Secretary of Homeland Security and his deputy secretary head the Department of Homeland Security. The latter are assisted by a Chief of Staff, an executive secretary and a military adviser.

The department has experienced 4 reorganizations to date (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010) and 6 secretaries (Tom Ridge from 2003 to 2005, Michael Chertoff from 2005 to 2009, Janet Napolitano from 2009 to 2013, Jeh Charles Johnson from 2013 to 2017 , John F Kelly in 2017 and Kirstjen Nielsen since the end of 2017) under three administrations (Bush, Obama and Trump).

The US Department of Homeland Security coordinates 24 agencies, which allows it to act in various fields such as anti-terrorism, border protection, immigration and customs , cybersecurity and prevention and management. natural disasters.

It also relies on the NTAS (National Terrorism Advisory System) which is a system for disseminating information to the public and the authorities. This system is based on two levels:

  • newsletters for the dissemination of general US security information;
  • alerts issued in the event of threats or attacks. Alerts can be high, meaning the threat is real, but information is still missing, or imminent when the threat is identified and (as the name suggests) imminent.


The Department of Homeland Security is a public administration of the federal government which is not the equivalent of the Ministry of Defense as one might think. Its field of action is, in fact, not so much military, but rather oriented towards the civilian. The promulgated idea is to defend the USA from the inside: plan, protect, act and rebuild.

The 5 main missions of the United States Department of Homeland Security are:

  • The 5 main missions of the United States Department of Homeland Security are:
  • prevention of terrorist attacks by increasing security and controlling the procurement and management of chemical, biological and nuclear agents;
  • the establishment and strengthening of immigration laws;
  • cybersecurity;
  • the management of terrorist attacks, natural disasters and any other large-scale emergency (FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency).


As you will have understood, the United States of America (the American government as well as its nationals) takes the protection of its territory very seriously. It is strongly recommended to respect the laws in force, in particular in terms of immigration to guarantee a stay in the United States up to your expectations. We remind you that French nationals can very easily make short tourist stays and business trips to the USA by requesting ESTA travel authorization on our platform.

We remind you that ESTA was set up under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which is a visa waiver program. Nationals of the 38 participating countries can travel to the United States without a visa, provided they receive ESTA authorization.

Participation in the VWP is not the only criteria for obtaining it. The applicant must also:

  • not have another nationality, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian or Sudanese nationality;
  • have a valid passport for the duration of the stay, it must also be an electronic passport or a biometric passport;
  • go to the USA for a short stay, the length of stay must not exceed 90 days maximum;
  • correctly answer (according to the criteria of the American authorities) the questionnaire completing the ESTA form;
  • not having visited Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia or Sudan since March 01, 2011.

To be accepted, an ESTA request must be studied by the US Customs and Border Protection agency. This agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security and helps the department in its mission of border protection in accordance with the immigration policy of the government in place.