There have been enhancements made towards visa free travel to the United States for Australian citzens as well for New Zealand ones. However, one needs to have official travel authorization preceding their travel. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a computerized system that is used to decide the eligibility of people to the United States as per the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It also determines whether the travel poses any security risk.
ESTA authorization means that a traveler belonging to the nationality of Visa Waiver Program countries can travel to the United States by either sea or air. The carrier is also expected to be approved by the visa waiver program. When it comes to applying for the ESTA Visa one is advised to submit an approval request at least three days prior to the travel.
It is not a requirement rather than a matter of convenience since applying for a US Visa Waiver through the embassy is a long process that usually requires you to have an interview with a U.S. Consular to determine your eligibility. This is not the preferred process of choice especially for any last minute travel arrangements. This is a tiresome procedure and unnecessary given the alternative is smoother. In order for a person to acquire the ESTA, $14 given out as payment.
By applying online for ESTA Visa, a response is expected within seconds of submission. Being able to incorporate the advancements in the field of technology to modern operations can ensure that the borders are kept secure since everyone entering the states is accounted for. For one to get an ESTA USA Visa, they must first enter the necessary details in the system with regard to their payment information, travel and biography to enable the customs office to have a profile on the traveler. One is required to answer all the questions honestly since they determine your eligibility.
The automated application form is processed by the system to establish if you meet the requirements of travel to the U.S. These details provided will be used to process your e-passport. This is a secure passport with an implanted electronic chip that will be used by the customs officer to verify the travel authorization since it is on file. It is a mandatory requirement to have an e-passport in order to receive services of the Visa Waiver Program.
Approval of your ESTA Visa does not necessarily offer an assurance of admission into the country. Upon arrival, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will decide whether a person is admissible. Requirements of an ESTA Visa state that it is valid for two years or until the expiry of the passport. Also, the valid duration of stay is a period not exceeding ninety days.
This period cannot be extended under any circumstances otherwise a USA Visa is required for an extended stay. The circumstances that one may be issued a new ESTA approval is if you are given a new passport, change your gender, name, country or even a circumstantial change.
There is a program in place that allows travel to the United States for citizens belonging to thirty-eight countries. The visit may either be for leisure or work related purposes and is not expected to exceed ninety days. This is referred to as the Visa Waiver Program and the corresponding countries involved are expected to do the same in turn. This helps build trust with the said countries especially for business entities who can trade with minimal complications.
Australian or New Zealand travelers who are either nationals or have traveled to Iran, Syria, Iraq or Sudan are not authorized to be admitted to the United States as per the Visa Waiver Program. This is with exception to travels intended for military or diplomatic commitments intended for carrying out services of a country belonging Visa Waiver Program. Australian citizens are however welcome to conduct their activities freely. These are very tricky times which is why drastic measures need to be taken to ensure the security of the public.