ESTA Application for Finland Citizens: Traveling to the USA from Finland
ESTA For Citizens of Finland
- Country: Finland
- ESTA Required: Yes
If you are thinking of traveling to the USA and are already looking at plane tickets to buy, places to see and hotels to reserve, then we advise you to read this article before doing all that.
Since Finland is one of the Visa Waiver Program countries its citizens need to apply for an ESTA (short for Electronic System for Travel Authorization), instead of a Visa. Find out what that implies.
1. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ESTA AND VISA?
Some may confuse ESTA with a Visa or a type of Visa, however, it is not the case. Therefore, it is important to distinguish the difference between an ESTA and a Visa.
ESTA is a unique authorization to travel in the USA that is only available to all the citizens of the countries in the Visa Waiver Program made by the US government.
Finland is one of those countries.
However, if an individual does not have citizenship from one of the VWP countries, then he or she cannot apply for an ESTA and obtaining a Visa is mandatory.
That being said, even citizens of Finland who have the opportunity to apply for an ESTA, still have to meet some specific criteria to receive their ESTA approval in order to travel to the USA, such as:
- The reason of travel is business, leisure or just transit.
- The visit does not extend 90 days.
2. WHEN TO APPLY FOR A VISA INSTEAD OF AN ESTA?
If you do not meet the criteria for applying for an ESTA, then you can obtain a Visa.
Below criteria are indicators that you should apply for a Visa:
- The air carrier you are flying with into the USA is a non-signatory air carrier.
- Your visit will extend the ninety-day period.
- Your reason for travel is not business, short-term tourism or transit.
- If any of the impermissible rules of the Immigration and Nationality Act apply to you.
3. FOR HOW LONG IS AN APROOVED ESTA VALID?
ESTA is valid for two years or until the expiration date of the passport, which was used to apply for ESTA.
Which means, if your passport expires before the two-year validity period of your ESTA, then you must apply for a new ESTA since you will have a new passport.
Other reasons for re-applying for an ESTA include legally changing your name, gender or citizenship.
If your passport is valid for more than two years, then your ESTA will expire in two years from the date of approval, which gives you a period of two years to visit the USA.
It is important to understand that an ESTA does not permit any citizen of a VWP country to stay in America for two years. The authorization is legitimate for two years and with that approved ESTA you may travel to the USA more than once in the two-year time frame, on the condition that each visit is 90 days or less.
If your plan is to stay longer in the USA, then obtaining a Visa is mandatory.
VISITING THE USA AS A CITIZEN OF FINLAND?
Apply for an ESTA for Finland citizens before making the trip to USA!Apply for USA ESTA Here
4. HOW TO RENEW MY ESTA?
If your ESTA expired, simply re-apply for a new ESTA. You can do that here.
Note: You cannot extend your existing ESTA expiry date.
However, it is not mandatory to wait for the two-year expiry date to apply for a new ESTA. You may apply at any time before the expiration date of your ESTA. When submitting a new application for ESTA approval, you will need to make a new payment for the new travel authorization approval, which will then automatically delete the old application of ESTA, and its approval.
5. WHAT IS CONSIDERED AS A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE IN THE USA?
Showing information about your health in the ESTA application is necessary in order to know that the potential traveler is not harmful to the public.
There are some diseases that are ground for inadmissibility into the USA. However, there are others that will not hinder you from entering and staying in the US with an ESTA under the VWP.
If you have any of the communicable diseases, you need to indicate it/them in your application. Once cured, you may inform in the application that you have been healed, however, keep in mind that some sort of proof will be required (e.g., doctor’s note) to prove that the disease is no longer contagious.
Below are the communicable diseases with which entering into the USA may be forbidden:
- Granuloma inguinale
- Leprosy, infectiousma
- Lymphogranuloma venereum
- Syphilis (infectious stage)
- Tuberculosis (active)
6. CAN I MAKE CORRECTIONS ONCE SUBMITTING MY ESTA APPLICATION?
Yes, if the information you wish to change is regarding your travel route.
However, if there are changes about the information in your passport, such as name, gender, date of birth, citizenship or country, then you need to correct such error by re-applying or making a new ESTA application.