The ESTA VISA USA is an electronic ‘visa’ which is used to verify that the holder is eligible to travel to the USA. It is used as a form of verification for people who are citizens of countries that are a part of the visa waiver programme, and it uses some basic checks to confirm the person’s citizenship and identity.
Getting an ESTA USA Visa for French citizens is usually quite a simple process. Holders of the ESTA Visa USA can travel to the USA as a part of a short business trip or for a holiday, as long as the trip is for 90 days or less, and it can be used as long as you do not have another form of visitor’s visa
When it comes to the USA Visa, French citizen(s) should apply online, and can pay for the visa with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal. There are a few questions on the form, including your most recent employment information, your contact details, and some basic information to prove your identity. It takes about 20 minutes to fill out the application form, and after that you should find that the ESTA comes through quite quickly. In some cases, the ESTA takes just minutes to be approved – however, all travelers are advised to give plenty of time before the trip, just in case there is a case of mistaken identity or some hold up or additional checks that are required before the Visa can be granted.
It is important to understand that the ESTA is automated, and it does not do anything beyond check basic eligibility. There are additional checks that will be done by the Customs and Border Protection officers once a person reaches the United States, and there may be cases where someone is permitted to travel to the united states, but would then be declined entry beforehand.
To use the Visa Waiver Program, travelers are required to have an e-Passport. This is an enhanced form of secure passport that is embedded with an electronic chip. Passports that meet this requirement have a symbol on the front to indicate this, and the symbol is used internationally. If you do not have an e-passport, then you will be asked to apply for a visa, or update your passport to the more modern e-Passport design.
There are some websites that are attempting to profit from the uncertainty surrounding the ESTA by selling services to apply for them. There is no reason to use these services – the US government website has an easy to use form which asks the questions required, and allows French travelers to pay using several different common payment options. The other websites simply charge a higher premium and may or may not even put the application in for you. Do not use third party websites. If you need any advice or are unsure if you are on the correct website, call your embassy to ask for advice. The embassy would also be able to tell you if there were any potential reasons why you would need to apply for a standard visa.