The ESTA document for travelling to New York

Rating: 4.03 39 votes
The ESTA document for travelling to New York

New York is understandably one of the favourite American destinations for Europeans. Many people wish to spend their dream holiday in this renowned world capital with its incredible sights and places to visit such as the famous Central Park. However, although nowadays it is easy to travel to New York in only a few hours it should not be forgotten that there are certain formalities and documents that are a necessary part of your preparations to enter American territory. The most important paper of these is undoubtedly the ESTA which we will examine here in detail.

 

How does the ESTA administrative procedure differ from a visa application?

The ESTA is an electronic travel authorisation that was created as part of a visa waiver programme for certain visitors. Using this procedure to prepare a visit to New York differs from the longer administrative procedure of a visa application.

Travellers that may benefit from the ESTA Visa Waiver programme can complete their applications online in just a few minutes and obtain a response within a maximum of 72 hours. An ESTA is therefore generally far simpler and faster to obtain than a visa.

In fact, to obtain an ESTA you simply need to complete an application online using a form such as the one you can find on our website. You then need to submit this application by payment of the costs and fees for transfer and processing using a debit or credit card or your Paypal account.

Contrary to a traditional visa, no physical documents will be sent to you if you are granted an ESTA travel authorisation. In fact, your travel authorisation will be electronically or digitally linked to your electronic or biometric passport and you will therefore have to present nothing other than your passport to the authorities when you travel.

There are also other differences between the administrative procedure for the ESTA and a visa. For example, for your ESTA application you do not need to send paper documents of any kind. Everything is completed online with a simple declaration.

 

Who can use the ESTA administrative procedure to visit New York?

As explained earlier, the application procedure for an ESTA electronic travel authorisation offers numerous advantages for visitors compared with the traditional visa application. But who can really benefit from this visa exception? The ESTA system is applicable for a certain category of visitors that need to fulfil specific conditions as follows: 

  • Nationality and residence: To benefit from an ESTA and thereby not require a visa to visit New York, it is first necessary that you are a resident of one of the 22 member countries of this system, such as the United Kingdom. This means that you need to reside there permanently. Visitors from other countries will need to complete an application for a visa.
  • The length of your visit: The ESTA electronic travel authorisation is only applicable for short visits of less than 90 days or three months on American territory. Longer visits will require you to apply for a specific visa.
  • The reason for your visit: An ESTA enables you to visit New York for different reasons such as, of course, tourism, visiting family or friends or even for business reasons. However it does not replace the visa if you plan to work in America or follow studies there.
  • Holding a passport: As we explained earlier, your ESTA authorisation is linked electronically to your passport. It is therefore essential that you hold an electronic or biometric passport that is valid when you apply for your ESTA authorisation as well as for the entirety of your planned visit, including your return.

If you fulfil all the conditions detailed above then you can apply online for your ESTA now. It should be noted that people wishing to visit New York, or somewhere else in the United States, absolutely need to obtain an ESTA, or a classic visa, including children. 

Once obtained, your ESTA authorisation will be valid for two years and can be used for numerous visits to New York or elsewhere in the United States during this time.

 

How to complete the ESTA administrative procedure to visit New York?

To conclude here is some advice to ensure your administrative preparation regarding the ESTA runs smoothly for your visit to New York.

Firstly, even though the ESTA is processed within a maximum of 72 hours, we still recommend that you complete this procedure a few weeks before your departure date for New York in order to avoid any complications such as a refusal which would necessitate a new application or a visa application.

Before starting to complete the online application form on our website, ensure you have your passport number close to hand as well as that for anyone else who is accompanying you on your visit if you plan a group visit. You should of course be able to respond to all the questions for each person accompanying you. You will also need your credit or debit card or access to your paypal account to be able to complete payment when submitting your application.

You can now start to complete the ESTA application form online and allow yourself to be guided step by step through the different stages. Take care not to omit any questions and reply in a clear and honest manner to the questions on the questionnaire. Verify the email address that you give as the response to your application will be sent to the same email address.

Once the questionnaire has been completed you may verify the information given before submitting your application and paying the costs and fees online. On our website you will find valuable and full assistance in case you encounter difficulties in responding to the questions asked.

Once your ESTA application has been approved, you have no further administrative procedures to complete and you can calmly continue with preparations for your visit to New York. Your ESTA will be automatically electronically or digitally linked to your passport. 

 

When to request an ESTA to visit New York?

The ESTA, or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, is a new travel authorisation implemented by the American authorities since 2009. In certain specific cases it replaces the well-known traditional visa with its long and costly procedure. To benefit from this visa exemption program and use the ESTA procedure you will need to fulfil the following conditions:

  • Visit New York for a period of less than 90 days or transit by another city.
  • Possess a valid biometric or electronic passport that will be used for your visit.
  • Be a citizen of one of the member countries of this system such as the United Kingdom or Ireland.

If you fulfil these conditions it is recommended that you complete your ESTA application a minimum of 72 hours before your departure but preferably 2 – 3 weeks beforehand.

 

How to obtain the ESTA paper for travelling to the United States?

To obtain the ESTA paper, you basically need to fulfil the conditions stated above and have an internet connection. Using a website such as ours you can access the ESTA application form in several languages. Important! Before completing this application form ensure you have your passport close to hand and the number will be required. The same is true for other travellers accompanying you as you will be required to complete an application form for each individual person.

Once you have completed truthfully and completely this questionnaire, you should verify it carefully and modify any mistakes. It is extremely important to check it before submitting your application. If everything is correct, submit your application and complete the application fee payment as requested (€55 on our website). This payment can be made by credit card to ensure a rapid processing of your application.

 

When do I receive the ESTA paper?

In actual fact, your ESTA authorisation will not be in the form of a paper document. You will simply receive a response to your application by email, within 72 hours after your application submission. The American authorities will be informed of the decision by digital means, as well as the company you will travel with.

Although it is therefore not obligatory that you print your ESTA, we do recommend you do so and keep it in a safe place as you will need your reference number for future visits to New York or elsewhere in the United States.

 

Is an ESTA required for a transit through New York?

The state of New York does not possess only one but rather two international airports through which numerous flights transit or stopover with their final destination as another country. Passengers who transit by New York often wonder if the ESTA authorisation is therefore required in this case.

In fact, even if you are not actually staying in New York, the simple fact of landing on American territory, even for just an hour or two, requires this travel authorisation. This is also the case for transits, even those that are short and require you to stay within the airport, as well as longer stopovers that allow you the time to visit the area a little.

To apply for an ESTA for a transit or stopover in New York you will need to follow the same procedure as with an authorisation application for a stay in the country. You should complete the application form that is available on our website for which you will need your valid passport number and credit card, the latter is to pay the transfer and processing costs and fees of your ESTA application. Following the submission of your application you will receive a response within 72 hours and will have nothing further to do after then as your ESTA travel authorisation will be automatically linked to your passport number. To obtain this authorisation you will of course need to fulfil certain conditions detailed above and, in particular, possess an electronic or biometric passport that is valid at the time of your application and during your proposed visit that enables it to be read electronically by a machine. You will also need to hold the nationality of one of the member countries of this program.

If you have the opportunity to take a fairly long stopover in New York, don’t hesitate to seize the opportunity for a short trip to Manhattan to visit some of the better known tourist spots there.

Online ESTA application form