This article will be your guide to obtaining an Electronic System for Travel Authorization, commonly known as an ESTA, here’s everything you need to know about it:
ESTA is a system that was designed to select eligible visitors to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that organizes traveling to the US for many countries including Austria.
Some general information about ESTA:
– ESTA is basically just a Waiver that means you don’t really need a visa.
– If you already have a visa you do not need to apply for an ESTA, however, an ESTA is not legally equivalent to a visa and does not serve as a substitute.
– You can apply for an ESTA and a tourist Visa at the same time.
– If your travel reason is temporary (leisure, vacation or business reasons) you don’t need a visa ( B-tourist or Business ) you only need to be eligible for ESTA.
-After obtaining your ESTA, the stay duration in the US is limited to 90 days.
-Visa is extendable but ESTA is not, so you can’t stay past your 90 days.
-Any time is good for applying for an ESTA, but it’s favorable if it’s as soon as possible after starting to plan for your visit to the US.
– An approved ESTA will stay valid for up to two years and can be used to conduct more than one visit to the US.
ESTA doesn’t necessarily imply that you will be allowed entrance to the US, you can be denied for several reasons; your ESTA obtaining process must validate a lot of requirements; the person applying must have no criminal record and shouldn’t have had previous problems entering the USA before.
How can you apply?
Starting by going to the website of ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) Application for Citizens of Austria: http://www.esta.us/austria.html and filling an application form with your personal data, you must have an e-passport (an electronic passport with the included electronic chip which contains your information). The information filled in the application form must be in English, you can have a friend, a relative or a travel agent fill the application form for you. Applying also includes paying the required fee, you can pay using a debit or a credit card, and they accept any of the following: VISA, Master Card, American Express and Discover
After submitting your information, the website generally delivers the response very quickly; you will be receiving one of these three responses:
1. Authorization Approved: This means that your application was validated and you are authorized to enter the US.
2. Authorization Pending: You will have to wait for 72 hours to get your final response.
3. Travel Not Authorized: This means that your application was denied. But do not lose hope; you can always start applying for a visa if you wish to travel to the US.