ESTA for Citizens of Spain who Are Traveling to the USA
Citizens of Spain should introduce themselves with most important aspects of ESTA and the Visa Waiver Program before traveling to the USA.
This is what citizens of Spain should know about the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation.
1. Can citizens of Spain travel to the USA with ESTA?
All citizens of Spain can enjoy Visa-free travel when visiting the USA.
Instead of having to obtain a Visa, citizens of Spain shall acquire an ESTA. The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation allows to obtain travel authorisation online without having to visit an embassy and make a meeting with Visa officials.
However, ESTA can only be used if your stay time in the USA does not exceed 90 days your intent for the visit is travel, business or transit.
In all other cases, you will have to acquire a Visa.
2. Is Spain one of the VWP countries?
Spain has been included in the Visa Waiver Program which means that all citizens of Spain can use ESTA as a form of travel authorisation when traveling to the USA.
Only citizens of the VWP countries can enjoy Visa-free travel to the USA and it can also be done if you have a dual citizenship and one of the countries you are a citizen of is a VWP country. However, there is a chance that your ESTA application won’t be approved if it does not meet the requirements.
3. For how long is ESTA valid for?
An ESTA is valid for two years from the moment of ESTA’s approval or until the moment of your passport validity expiration should that come within the two years.
You can check your ESTA’s validity at any time by using the simple online form.
If your ESTA has expired, you have to apply for a new travel authorisation.
4. Do I need an ESTA if I have a Visa?
If you are a citizen of one of the VWP countries, for example, Spain, you do not need a Visa.
Instead you have to apply for an ESTA which allows you to visit the USA for a period for up to 90 days. ESTA can be used when your visit is for business, travel or transit purposes.
Only in other cases you can apply for a Visa.
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5. How long does it take to fill the ESTA online application?
If you have all of the documents in place it should not take longer than 30 minutes to fill the online application form for ESTA.
After that, the approval process takes 72 hours.
The application requires to provide information about you, your work, criminal background and travel plans. You will also have to provide information from your passport.
6. What are the passport requirements for ESTA?
The most important thing to remember is your passport validity.
When traveling with ESTA, your passport shall be valid at least until the moment of the planed returning day.
At the moment of your passport expiring, your ESTA’s validity will also expire and you will have to apply for a new ESTA after obtaining a new passport.
For all of the Visa Waiver Program countries, additional requirements for passports are:
- The passport shall be an electronic passport. This means that the passport includes a digital chip, that holds biometric information about the person to which this passport belongs to;
- The biographic page of the passport shall contain a machine readable zone;
For some Visa Waiver Program countries more additional requirements have been set.
7. What to do if my ESTA is rejected?
There are many reasons for your ESTA application to be rejected. These include passport expiration and problems with criminal background.
Depending on what the reason for rejection is you might have to apply again or visit the nearest US embassy for additional information. For example, if your ESTA is rejected because of passport expiration, you should renew your passport and then apply for a new ESTA.
In case your ESTA application has been rejected because of other reasons, such as problems with criminal background or worries about your travel intentions, you might have to apply for a Visa. There is also a chance that no travel authorisation is granted at all.
8. What is ESTA group application?
ESTA group application allows for one person to apply up 50 others for an ESTA and make a single payment.
In this case, a single ID for all applicants will be issued, however that does not mean that all persons included in the group application have to travel together.
This makes application a lot easier for large groups of people like families.
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9. What is the difference between ESTA and a Visa?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that ESTA is not a Visa or any form of a Visa.
Only citizens of one of the Visa Waiver Program countries are eligible for ESTA and can enjoy Visa-free travel to the USA. All USA visitors who are not citizens of one of the Visa Waiver Program countries have to apply for a Visa and ESTA does not apply to them.
If you have an ESTA, you do not need to apply for a Visa if your travel plans and stay time meets the ESTA requirements.
10. Does ESTA guarantee an entry into the USA?
ESTA is the most important document to have when traveling to the USA, however, it does not guarantee that entry into the USA will be granted.
When traveling to the USA and official border guard at the customs will do additional check up and will make the decision to either grant the entry or not.
In most cases, after receiving an ESTA approval visitors of the USA should be granted the entry, however, if you show signs of bringing danger to the USA entry will not be granted.
11. Can I apply my child for an ESTA?
Yes, in case children are traveling to the USA accompanied or unaccompanied, they do require to have an ESTA if they are citizen of any of the VWP countries.
When applying for a child for an ESTA, all questions shall be answered correctly and honestly. Only a guardian of the child can apply the child for an ESTA.
Only children’s passport that have been issued after 26th October 2006 are eligible for ESTA application. All other passport requirements are the same for grownups and children.