How to travel to USA – passport requirements for applying ESTA
The Visa Waiver Program provides citizens of 28 countries with a unique opportunity to travel to the United States of America without having to go through the tedious process of visa obtainment. People from such countries as Australia, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland (and others) can visit the States on tourist and business trips (literally the same purposes as those which are designated for the recipients of standard visa) and stay there for the duration that doesn’t exceed 90 days. It’s a good alternative to the standart USA visa passport.
All that is necessary to do to obtain such permit is to submit an application on the website of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and wait for the candidacy to get approved and stored in the database of the Electronic System of Travel Authorization.
Once you get the confirmation that your application was approved, you can pack your bags, book the tickets, and head to the nearest airport from where you will be able to travel to the United States. However, there are documents that you would have to take with you in order to produce them during the border and customs control on the territory of the U.S. These documents are the printed PDF file that includes your personal ESTA registration number and the ESTA eligible passport.
The registration number is designated in the email that confirms the approval of your application. It is usually located in the top left corner of the document. Make sure to print it out and keep with other documents. Although the U.S. customs officers will be able to check your ESTA status on the spot by accessing the database, the flight attendants or other representatives of an airline may want to check this document before you board the plane.
ESTA passport requirements
People often ask, “What passport do I need for America?”, “What is ESTA eligible passport?”, “Do I have a VWP passport?”. And here is the answer: you should always have at hand a valid main document from a country that participates in VWP – passport from your native state. However, there are certain ESTA passport requirements that have to be met when traveling to the United States. Let’s see what requirements have the ESTA and what passports are eligible for such trips. Please note that participation in the VWP is possible only for individuals who possess electronic passports. This particular norm was introduced on April 1, 2016, by the U.S. authorities. The electronic passport (or e-passport) is an identification document that has an implanted electronic chip. This chip contains the following information: the full name of the person who owns the VWP passport, date of birth, other important personal information, and copies of holder’s fingerprints. Such document can be named as ESTA eligible passport.
Documents necessary for traveling under VWP
There are also other things about travel to USA passport requirements that you need to know. The biographic page of your passport for waiver program (the front page of the passport that contains the owner’s photo and basic personal information) must be in good condition, without any scratches, stains or other damages. You can’t travel under the VWP with the ordinary USA visa passport. As for travels without a visa to the USA with the European passport, the requirements stay the same: the availability of e-passport and printed version of ESTA application. Please remember that in order to avoid trouble at the US border.
What you need for travel to USA (passport requirements and other documents):
- Valid passport from a country ranked on the VWP countries list.
- Remember! ESTA eligible passport is only electronic one.
- Printed copy of the ESTA authorization page (it isn’t necessary but we recommend you to have it just in case).
If you are not sure about any aspect of the VWP or ESTA, you should go straight to usa-visaservices.com and ask us your question. We will gladly help with resolving any issue ESTA travel. Start with ESTA Eligibility Test and then we will help you do the next step.