Travel Documents: The Basics on ESTA

So we have done a few features on San Francisco and Buffalo recently, and a friend in Europe is interested to see them. When we started talking about travel docs, she seemed to have little idea on what is needed, so I thought to look it up. Whatever reason it maybe – to visit friends, check out a business prospect, or to just see the iconic landmarks – you have to make sure that your travel documents are all sorted out to guarantee a hassle free and safe trip. For many countries, that means securing your ESTA.

With the increased number of visitors to the United States yearly, the efforts to strengthen security measures and ensure the safety of visitors travelling to the US has become of prime importance. One way to warrant this valuable aspect of your trip is to secure an Electronic System for Travel Authorization, also known as ESTA.


What Is It For?

The ESTA basically evaluates a person’s eligibility for Visa Exemption under the Visa Waiver Program. In place of filing for a travel visa, you will only need to present your ESTA, which can give you more freedom and flexibility to enter the US without the dangers of the lack of security and the hassle of repetitive paperwork.


If you are from any of these countries, you will need to apply for an ESTA online:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.


Can I Get Declined an ESTA?

Yes. There are many reasons including something as simple as answering the forms and questions wrong, or something more complex as previous records of overstaying, fraudulent activity, or a previous denial of a Visa to the US. If you want to avoid possibly getting denied entry to the US, there are fortunately measures you can take to create better chances for you to get it.


Do I need ESTA Assistance?

Many first time travelers are unaware of the need for this travel document and end up procrastinating weeks or days away from traveling. If you are in urgent need of one, even when you have nothing to worry about in terms of your track record, assistance might be a good idea. This service can help you have your peace of mind, especially if you already bought that ticket.

When looking for assistance for your ESTA Application, make sure that you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are they knowledgeable of my destination? Do they have experience in processing my application? Are they able to thoroughly explain and walk you through the process?
  2. Do they provide a seamless and convenient service? Can I communicate with the agents easily via chat and email? Do they have the patience to answer all my questions? Can they speak in my native language?
  3. Are they making the effort to create a professional relationship with me? Will they assist me as a client all throughout having the ESTA? Can they guarantee assistance until my permit expires so I can make the most out of their service?


Have you had experience in securing this travel document? Tell us all about it below or tweet us @mscareergirl!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.