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For years, visitors from certain foreign nations have been able to travel to America without first getting a formal Visa decal placed in their passport. Founded in 1998, the”Visa Waiver Program” (VWP) has enabled for people of several countries to come to America for tourism or business functions for up to 90 days without getting a Visa put in their passport. During 2007, over 15 million people from VWP countries arrived in the United States.As of January 12, 2009 America’s new ESTA program requires Visa Waiver Program visitors coming to the U.S. for tourist or business functions by means of a plane or ship to”enroll” online before entering the United States to determine whether they present a law enforcement or safety threat to the U.S. ESTA is not necessary for land crossings. Officials are asking the ESTA enrollment be done at least 72 hours prior to leaving, but it is possible to register at the last moment. An ESTA Travel Authorization is absolutely free, valid for two decades, and valid for multiple entries.What Countries Are in the Visa Waiver Program?Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.Where Do I Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization?A site, operated by the American government, is the place where you register for ESTA: esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The ESTA info you submit through the computer is compared with certain American law enforcement databases and then approved or refused. Australian travelers may not be in a position to submit ESTA software at American airports following coming or in a U.S. Embassy in their country.What if I Do Not Have Plans to Travel to the U.S.. Yet?VWP travelers aren’t required to have specific plans to travel to the United States until they apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization. As soon as VWP travelers begin to plan a excursion to visit the U.S., they’re invited to use for travel authorization via the ESTA website. Applicants are not required to update their destination addresses or itineraries should they change following their ESTA Travel Authorization has been granted.Does the ESTA Travel Authorization Guarantee Entry to the U.S.?An ESTA Travel Authorization only Requires a traveler to board an airline or boat for traveling to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. As soon as they arrive, travelers that obtained an ESTA Travel Authorization may still be denied entry (also called”entrance”) at a U.S. port of entry, like an American airport. An approved ESTA is not a promise of admissibility at an American airport. In all cases, the American airport officers make the final decision whether a foreign traveler can input the U.S. or never. You still need to establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer that you are entitled to be admitted to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.Can I Change My Travel Itinerary?It’s possible to modify an itinerary onto a current ESTA Travel Authorization; ESTA is designed so you can update parts of it in any time. Travelers who failed to receive an ESTA approval may be denied boarding from the airlines, expertise delayed processing, or even be refused entrance to the U.S. at the airport.While the ESTA Travel Authorization is completed online with no interview, there are Visas that need a U.S. Embassy interview. The Visa process has separate processes, which generally require an appointment, traveling to some U.S. Embassy, an interview with a Consular Officer, processing time, and the payment of an application fee. In case a foreign national already went to the U.S. Embassy and contains a legal B1/B2 Visitor Visa glued within their passport it isn’t crucial to get an ESTA Travel Authorization since the traveler will soon be entering using a B1/B2 Visitor Visa rather than during the Visa Waiver Program. Bear in mind that a licensed ESTA Travel Authorization isn’t a Visa.Can I Re-Apply to get an ESTA Travel Authorization if Denied?Yesbut you must wait at least 10 times to reapply and your circumstances should have shifted. Unless there’s a shift in a substantive reality, re-application will not alter the result. Keep in mind that applying for an ESTA Travel Authorization with untrue information can result in a foreign national to be permanently barred from entering America. The ESTA process is designed to attempt and prevent folks from changing and manipulating an ESTA entry until they get an endorsement.What If I am Denied an ESTA Travel Authorization and Have No Changed Circumstances?There are three types of responses to a ESTA application; authorized, pending or traveling not authorized (denied). Applicants who receive a”pending” answer are advised to check the website 72 hours later. Applicants that are denied will be required to go to a U.S. Embassy to apply for a formal nonimmigrant visa, like a B1/B2 Visa, which may take weeks.Can a Traveler Find Out the Reason Why an ESTA Application was Denied?The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has stated that travellers may contact the DHS Traveling Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP in dhs.gov) however you will find no guarantees that advice about a denial will be divulged. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not required to supply specifics about an ESTA denial nor solve the problem that caused the ESTA denial.What Should I Have a Criminal Record?Only those capable to traveling under the VWP are eligible to pre-register via ESTA. Persons who have been arrested and/or convicted are generally not eligible for VWP and likely require a formal Visa, like a B1/B2 Visa, to go to America. If a foreign national has obtained tickets for speeding (which don’t usually lead to an arrest or conviction) they are likely still eligible for the VWP and ESTA. If a foreign traveler has been denied entry into or deported in the U.S., they require a formal Visa.Do Any Other Countries Have a Similar Program?Australia has a program known as the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) that mandates travelers to submit an ETA program electronically via a website requesting permission to travel to Australia. Airlines may refuse to accept passengers who don’t have an approved ETA or Visa to enter Australia.How Long Will the ESTA Program Info be Stored? Who Can Obtain It? The American government will maintain the information for at least 15 years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory functions. Information submitted through ESTA may also be shared with any U.S. government organization.What Exactly Does the Airlines Get?Airlines will get confirmation of a passenger’s ESTA standing visa the”Advance Passenger Information System” (APIS) which reveals whether the ESTA authorization was granted for a Visa Waiver Program traveler. It is suggested that the traveler print out the ESTA application approval in order to maintain a listing of their ESTA application number and to get confirmation of their ESTA status.What About Children?Accompanied and unaccompanied children, irrespective of age, are expected to obtain an independent ESTA Travel Authorization.What if a Mistake was Made about the ESTA Application?The ESTA site will ask applicants to review their program before submitting it. Also, there’s an upgrade function for specific details such as email address, telephone number, or flight info. When an applicant makes a mistake that may not be”updated,” that he will need to submit a brand new ESTA application.