There are many places around the world to travel. Some people travel for the purpose of seeing historical sites, some to see new places, some for excitement, and still others to attend school. Others yet travel for business.
No matter what the reason, one of the most popular countries as a travel destination is the United States of America. However, any time you are traveling outside of the country that you permanently reside in, there is a mountain of paper that must be completed before you can even begin your journey.
File Your U.S. Travel Authorization Online
What you will find here is information on how to start and complete all of the necessary forms so you can travel to the United States. Hopefully, this information will provide some ease and peace of mind as you begin this rigorous process.
The first step to being able to travel to the United States is to fill out an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) form. This is an automated system that will determine a person’s eligibility under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program).
You are probably wondering what type of information you will have to give when filling out one of these forms. You will need to give biographic information as well as answer some eligibility questions.
Rest assured that any and all information submitted through Esta form is secure and safe. The data obtained through your application will last for approximately two years or until your passport expires (you can find many passport renewal services), whichever comes first.
Keep in mind that everyone who is temporarily traveling to the United States, whether for business or pleasure, adults or minors (accompanied and unaccompanied) must fill out one of these forms before they can begin their traveling.
The VWP does have some restrictions that should be considered when making your travel plans. There are certain countries that are not on the approved list for travel from that country to the United States or for persons who have been present in them.
The list includes Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. This particular restriction does not apply to persons who were in said countries for the purpose of performing Military or Government official business for any program country.
To use VWP travelers will need to have an e-passport. Unlike most things that are defined as “E” or electronic, e-passports are not online only. An e-passport is a physical passport with the addition of an electronic chip.
The chip contains all of the same information that is always found on a passport data page. This information includes the traveler’s name, birth date, as well as other biographic information. There is also a digital photograph of the traveler and a biometric identifier.
Rest assured that there are protections in place to prevent your data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals also referred to as “skimming”.
There are four different types of documents that may be issued to travelers heading to or from the United States. These documents are as follows; Advance Parole, Refugee Travel Document, Re-entry Permit, and Carrier Documentation.
The purpose of the advance parole document is to allow an individual to travel (without a visa) back to the United States. The refugee travel document is for who are obtaining refugee or asylum status. A reentry permit is issued to residents who wish to travel outside of the United States to allow them to reenter the country.
Finally, the carrier permit is to allow airline or other transportation carriers to board permanent residents entry onto the transportation craft after being temporarily out of the country. Each country will have their own versions of these forms that travelers must obtain before traveling outside of their home country.
It is vital to have the appropriate documentation so that you will not have any issues when it comes time for your journey to be over and you head home Without the proper reentry documentation, travelers may run into problems entering their home country.
After applying for ESTA the next step is simply to wait until the application has been reviewed. After it has been reviewed, you will be notified as to whether or not you have been approved. If your application is approved, the next step is to plan your trip as you would any trip.
You will need to plan transportation, room and board upon arrival, and a basic itinerary. Next, you will need to make sure that all of your documentation is in order.
You will need to have all the documents ready to be presented upon your arrival. After arriving and displaying your documentation, officials will make the final determination as to whether or not you may enter the country.
Before heading out on your travels, you should know that there are certain items that you are not allowed to bring into the United States. This includes several types of prepared foods; however, you may bring bakery items and most cheeses. Most condiments are also on the approved list.
You may not bring alcoholic beverages, firearms, animal products, absinth, plants and seeds, drug paraphernalia, soil, gold, and most fruits and vegetables. You also should not bring pets, knives, automobiles, and medicines. This is not a complete list, but it is a majority list.
Travelers have the option of bringing up to ten thousand dollars into the country without having to report it to customs. You may bring as much currency as you wish, but if you choose to bring more than ten thousand dollars, you will need to report.
If you are in doubt about a specific item, do not hesitate to reach out to officials or do some research beforehand to clear up any confusion.
Now you have all of the information to get you started on attaining the necessary authorization you will need for a trip to the United States of America.
This information is intended to provide an overview of the process and provide insight into how to get started. The process is a fairly simple one, but it does take a bit of time and patience to complete. Hang in there and before you know it you will be on your way.