ESTA stands for "Electronic System for Travel Authorization" and was introduced in 2008 as an alternative to the visa.
The ESTA permit makes it easy and fast to enter the United States. However, the application for a visa is long and involves major hurdles.
Basically, anyone with ESTA can enter the USA. However, the maximum length of stay is limited to 90 days.
The ESTA approval is valid for 2 years, so you can enter the USA more frequently. However, you should not spend more than 180 days a year in the United States, as they can otherwise be accused of illegal immigration.
It is often enough to enter the United States using ESTA. For some cases, a visa is required:
In addition, a visa also eliminates the limit of 90 days.
The requirements for your ESTA approval are manageable. It is precisely through ESTA that an easy and fast entry is to be made possible.
Requirements for ESTA approval:
Entry with children is subject to further requirements.
Child documents of identification, entries in the passport of the parents and the child's passport (if issued after the 26.10.2006) are not recognized as valid entry documents. Therefore, ask your local authority for a biometric passport for your child.
You need a separate ESTA approval for each child. You may apply for your child as a third party.
If your child travels only with a single parent, it is advisable to carry a certified consent of the other parent. For children travelling alone, the declaration of consent is necessary for each parent.
You will need the ESTA approval if you are travelling by plane or cruise ship. This is different if you cross the borders by land.
If you travel by car, bus or train, no ESTA approval is required. However, you will fill out the I94 form on site.