What types of stay in the USA are allowed with an ESTA?

What types of stay in the USA are allowed with an ESTA?

Set up in 2009 as part of the Visa Waiver Program , ESTA is used by millions of travelers every year. However, the US state does not issue this travel authorization to just anyone. The nationality of the traveler is indeed not the only criterion to be eligible for the ESTA authorization , only certain types of stay in the USA are authorized via an ESTA. Let’s see together which travel categories are affected by the USA visa exemption.

ESTA: a temporary residence permit

The duration of your trip to the USA is an essential element to know if you can travel to the USA with an ESTA. Indeed, like the non-immigrant visa, the ESTA is intended for foreign nationals who do not plan to settle permanently on American soil. Therefore, the US government has set the length of stay with an ESTA to a maximum of 90 days. The US authorities are adamant about this, if the stay in the US exceeds one more day, the electronic travel authorization cannot be used and the only valid travel document will be the US visa.

Tourist stay with an ESTA

Like the tourist visa, the ESTA allows you to visit the United States, as you see fit, the only difference is the legal length of stay allowed.

Once in possession of an ESTA, you will be able to freely discover the vastness of the American territory, from the national parks of the American West to New York! If you have family members in the USA, you can also visit them, and this, during the 3 months authorized by ESTA.

On the other hand, if you are organizing a tourist trip for more than 90 consecutive days, you will need to contact the American Embassy or Consulate General to apply for a B2 visa.

Business travel and ESTA

You are a sales executive and wish to go to the United States to develop your business internationally, know that it is quite possible thanks to the ESTA authorization.

If you want to go to the USA to participate in a convention, visit customers or suppliers or even sign a contract, obtaining your residence permit should not be a problem. On the other hand, the ESTA does not in any case allow you to work for an American employer. Only a visa issued by the US Embassy will allow you to exercise a professional activity on American soil.

In addition, in the event of a business trip of more than 90 days, it will be necessary to apply for a B1 visa instead of the ESTA form.

Transiting through the United States with ESTA

As part of your next trip abroad, you have a stopover in a US airport before reaching your final destination? Be aware that even if you only stay a few hours on American soil, you must be in possession of a valid ESTA.

Studying in the USA with an ESTA: is it possible?

Do you dream of continuing your studies at a prestigious American university? To do this, you must have an F visa (for university studies) or an M visa (for non-university training). Indeed, the ESTA only applies to the three reasons for stay mentioned above. Any external reason requires traveling to the USA with a visa. It is therefore the same if you wish to do an internship across the Atlantic.

Going to the USA with an ESTA

The reason for your stay allows you to go to the United States without a visa? Before applying for your ESTA authorization, make sure that you are in possession of a valid passport (it can be an electronic passport or a biometric passport). In addition, be aware that ESTA can only be obtained for travel with arrival by air or sea.

Be careful, keep in mind that having an ESTA does not mean that you will be admitted to the United States of America for sure. Indeed, any traveler who wishes to set foot on American soil is subject to checks at the border post. This formality will be carried out by a federal agent of the customs services. If the latter considers that your profile may represent a threat to the internal security of the country, your access to the USA will be refused and you will be automatically repatriated to your country of origin.