The Electronic authorisation also called ESTA Visa for France is similar to a standard visa in that it verifies that the holder is allowed to travel to the USA. The ESTA visa is issued online, following some basic, automated checks on a person’s identity.
A person can apply for the ESTA USA Visa if they are traveling to the USA for business or pleasure and their trip is for fewer than 90 days. French citizens who are interested in getting a USA Visa should apply in good time for their trip, because the system is automated and while it usually issues authorisation very quickly, there are sometimes issues that may require further checks.
What are the main crticial requirements for French citizens that you need to apply for in order to get the USA Visa approved when traveling to America?
The ESTA USA Visa is open to people who are citizens of countries that are a part of the visa waiver program, such as France. Those who are coming from other countries would need to apply for a tourist visa or a work visa as appropriate.
Only people who hold an e-Passport can get an ESTA. The e-Passport is a more secure passport with a chip embedded in it. If you don’t have that chip in your passport (the passport will have a rectangular icon with a circle inside it on the front cover if you do), then you cannot get an ESTA at this time. If your country offers the e-Passport, then you may want to upgrade your passport. In the mean time, you may be required to apply for a standard Visa to enter the USA.
The application process for an ESTAis simple. You will be asked a few questions about your identity and in some cases your employment. You will then be asked to pay with a credit or debit card, or with Paypal, and after that your information will go through some automated checks. In most cases, the process takes minutes. Sometimes it may need additional checks that may take hours, and there have been cases where it will take longer – so you should always apply as soon as you have an idea that you will be traveling, so if there are issues you will have time to resolve them. A delay in the application process does not always mean denial – it just means that there is something (even someone with a similar name to yours and similar birthdates) that could be flagged in the system.
Not all travel purposes are covered with the ESTA for French nationals. If you are planning a longer stay or to seek employment in the USA then you should look at getting a visa that would cover that. Do not attempt to enter the USA on an ESTA and over-stay, because if the customs and border protection people have reason to believe that this is your intent then you could be denied entry to the USA for this trip, and it would make future trips harder to do as well.