The questions on the ESTA application form for the United States

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The questions on the ESTA application form for the United States

You undoubtedly know that you need to complete a travel authorisation application for your next visit to the United States. If your stay is for less than 90 days and you are a citizen of one of the program member countries then this application can be completed through the online ESTA questionnaire. To assist you in obtaining this authorisation we will explain here where you can find this questionnaire and how to respond to the different questions asked.

 

What is ESTA travel authorisation for the United States?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) was created in 2009 with the aim of simplifying the procedure for citizens of certain member countries to travel to the United States for a period of less than three months.

Basically it consists of an application form that you need to complete, your responses to the questions are then studied by the American immigration authorities before they decide whether, or not, to grant you travel authorisation to the USA.

 

Where do I find the ESTA questionnaire for the United States?

It is fairly easy to find the ESTA questionnaire that you need to complete to apply for travel authorisation to the United States. To do so you simply need a computer, a tablet or a smartphone that has internet access.

You should then visit a website that offers the questionnaire in your native language. This is the case with our website; you can find this questionnaire by simply clicking on the button at the top or bottom of this page.

It is important to note that the questionnaire must absolutely be completed online. You are definitely not required to print and send it by postal mail or even try to send it by email.

After completing the ESTA questionnaire you will need to pay the administration fees for the processing of your application.

 

The answers required for your ESTA application form for the USA:

The questionnaire you will need to complete for your ESTA application for the USA is both clear to understand and affordable. You should simply respond to various questions concerning your identity and your planned visit. You will find the following questions among others:

 

First part of the ESTA questionnaire: Information concerning the applicant:

The first part of the ESTA application form is composed of questions relating to the identity of the applicant and personal details. You will be asked the following questions in particular:

  • Your last or family name (this name should be the same as that on your passport).
  • Your first and middle names.
  • Your date and place of birth (city and country).
  • Your gender.
  • Your marital status (single, living with someone or married).
  • Your email address that you will also need to confirm. This information is of the highest importance as it is to this email address that the American authorities will send your ESTA application response.
  • The first and last names of your mother and father.

You should of course be careful that you do not make mistakes when completing this part of the form that may be verified during your visit.

 

Second part of the ESTA questionnaire: Information concerning your passport and your visit:

In the second part of the ESTA questionnaire you will need to enter some supplementary information about you as well as certain questions relative to your visit.

You notably need to state the following:

  • Your complete postal address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your nationality.
  • Your passport number (only an electronic or biometric passport) as well as its issue and expiry dates and place of issue. 
  • The town or city of the airport from where you will embark for your visit.
  • You should also stipulate if your visit to the USA includes a transit to another country.
  • You will be asked if you have been a citizen of another country or if you have previously held a passport or identity card from another country.
  • The first and last names, address, telephone number and email address of a trustworthy person to contact in case of an emergency, resident in the United States or elsewhere.
  • Information concerning your professional situation.

 

Third and last part of the ESTA questionnaire: Information relative to morality and health.

This last part of the questionnaire for your ESTA application includes everything that may enable the American authorities to decide whether to grant or refuse you the right to travel and stay in the USA. It is presented in the form of multiple closed questions that you should reply to with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, clearly and honestly.

You will notably be asked the following:

  • If you suffer from a contagious or transmissible illness or psychiatric problems.
  • If you use narcotics.
  • If you have been arrested or convicted and if so for what type of crime.
  • If you intend to engage in immoral activities whilst in the United States.
  • If you have been implicated in spying activities, genocide, or terrorism, or if you were implicated with the German Nazi allies of the Second World War.
  • If you have previously applied for travel authorisation to the USA and been refused or if you have already been officially accompanied to the border during a visit to the United States.
  • If you plan to search for work in the USA.
  • If you have had custody of a child whose care was officially entrusted to an American citizen or if you have obstructed the parental or guardian’s rights of such a person.
  • If you have already had a USA visa refused or cancelled.
  • If you have used your immunity to escape judicial pursuit.
  • If you have already exceeded the maximum visiting period authorised by your ESTA during a previous visit.
  • If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or the Sudan since the 1st March 2011.

Do keep in mind while you complete this questionnaire that you should respond to all questions as completely and truthfully as possible. It is pointless to lie or minimise certain points as the American authorities responsible for examining your application can and will verify the information entered and refuse you entry onto American territory.

If you are not sure of your response to some of these questions then browse through our website where you can find all the information and advice you could possibly need.

 

Frequently asked questions on the ESTA declaration

Anxious to be of assistance to you in your efforts to obtain your ESTA travel authorisation we have created this Frequently Asked Questions to respond to all your queries.

Here you will find the answers to all the most frequently asked questions by travellers to the USA.

 

Who can benefit from an ESTA visa exemption?

To benefit from a visa exemption and obtain an electronic authorisation to travel to the USA you need to fulfil the following conditions:

  • Be a citizen of one of the member countries of the system.
  • Prepare a trip of less than 90 days.
  • Possess a valid biometric or electronic passport.

 

How long before the trip should I submit an ESTA application?

We strongly recommend that you submit your application by completing the form available on our website around two weeks before your departure date. In the case of an error leading to a refusal, you will then have the possibility to resubmit your application 10 days after the notification.

 

When is a response received to the ESTA authorisation application?

Once the questionnaire has been duly completed and validated, the American authorities undertake to provide a response by email within a maximum period of 72 hours. Note that the majority of responses are sent within less than 48 hours. Do ensure you verify the Spam folder of your email inbox. 

 

What is the validity period of an ESTA authorisation?

Your ESTA authorisation has a validity period of two years from the date it was obtained. During this period you may therefore reuse your authorisation for other trips to the United States if they respect the same conditions. Important!  Your personal situation must be the same as for your initial application.

 

Is a passport obligatory for travelling to the United States?

Although the ESTA programme exempts you from a visa, you should still possess an electronic or biometric passport which is valid for the duration of your trip. The number of this passport will be required for completing your online ESTA application. 

 

Is it necessary to print the ESTA?

During your travel, no other document will be requested other than your passport. The ESTA system is entirely electronic which means that the immigration services, and your travel company, will be automatically informed of your authorisation to travel to the United States of America.  However, it is still recommended to keep your file number in a safe place in case of further modifications or for your future trips.

 

What can I do if an ESTA application is refused?

The American authorities responsible for studying the files have the right to refuse an ESTA application due to erroneous information or in particular cases that do not permit entry to American territory. Depending on the reason for refusal, you may have the possibility of resubmitting your application ten days after the email notification, or if not then you may apply for a traditional visa through the American consulate or Embassy in your home country.

 

How to modify an ESTA application form?

You have the possibility to modify the information entered on your ESTA file at any time and can access it using your file number. Important! Any modifications made after validation will lead to a new examination of your request.

 

What is the price of an ESTA application?

For all ESTA applications completed through our website you will be invoiced a processing fee of €55. This amount includes the American taxes currently applicable and the forwarding of your application to the American authorities concerned.

 

How to proceed if a mistake was made in the information given on the ESTA questionnaire?

If you have completed your ESTA questionnaire but realise that you made a mistake in the information you have given then several solutions are open to you:

If you haven’t yet paid for the transfer and processing costs and fees of your application then you are still able to modify your answers before its submission by simply going back over the form. However, once payment has been made and the application has been submitted to the American authorities then it will normally be processed within a few hours so it is impossible to make any changes. This is why it is highly recommended to take the time to carefully check all your answers and information given to be sure all is accurate and correct before submitting your application.

If you fall into the above category, the only solution available is to wait for the refusal notification from the American authorities and then apply again. If your authorisation is granted but the information given is incorrect then it is still recommended that you submit a new application to ensure that any possible problems due to inaccuracy do not occur at immigration and border controls as these could impede your passage.

Before reapplying through the completion of a new questionnaire you will need to wait for at least 10 days. You will then need to repeat the entire procedure from the start, replying to all the questions honestly and carefully. Of course, you will also need to pay for the costs and fees again, you will not be able to request a refund of those previously paid. This is due to the fact that the verification procedure of each of your two applications requires the same individual work and examination.

 

The other documents you should have:

Apart from the ESTA authorisation that we have already covered in detail, you will of course need your valid biometric passport. Your valid passport number and the passport number quoted on your ESTA authorisation should of course be the same.

A verification of all authorisations will be completed before boarding. If you do not hold valid ESTA authorisation then the travel company will refuse to allow you to board. It is therefore preferable to prepare in advance.

Online ESTA application form