How to Apply for ESTA for USA?

The US requires that all citizens of Visa Waiver countries obtain an ESTA approval to visit the US, which is fairly fast, kinda painless, and inexpensive. It is not a visa, but is a simple namecheck to assure that the person doesn’t show up on any list of terrorists or certain types of criminals.

As a citizen of the Netherlands, you already know that you can visit the US without applying for a visa. All you need is an ESTA that will allow you to fly to the US. An ESTA allows a citizen of a VWP country to go to the US for business or tourism purposes for 90 days. You can request ESTA for your trip to the USA. But the question that arises here is when you should apply for your ESTA.

1. ESTA application time

Applying for an ESTA is done online and it usually takes a few minutes to get the application approved. In certain cases, it may take up to 72 hours, but not more. However, it is suggested that you request ESTA Visa as soon as you make up your mind to travel to the US.

Whether you want to meet a friend, travel to your favorite place in the US, or want to meet your business partners, you should consider applying for an ESTA first. Ideally, you should start the ESTA request process before booking flights and hotels.

This is because there is a slim chance that your ESTA may not be approved. In such a situation, you will need to get a visa if you want to travel to the US. Since getting a visa involves a lengthy process, you should have enough time for that.

If your ESTA request is denied and you do not have enough time to get a visa, you may have to cancel your travel plans to the US. And canceling hotel and flight bookings at the last minute can be a costly affair. So, you would want your ESTA to be ready before you make any bookings.

2. Emergency ESTA application

Emergencies happen without notice. If you have to travel to the US immediately for any urgent need, you will need to Request ESTA Visa as soon as the emergency arises. Since there is no separate option for an emergency application, you will have to apply for an ESTA as everyone else does.

If the information provided is correct and you have answered the security questions truthfully, you can expect to get your ESTA approved quickly for immediate travel.

In many cases, people who want to avail connecting flights to and within the US fail to realize that they, too, require an ESTA. Naturally, they Request ESTA while at the airport. Such last-minute submissions are very risky and if your ESTA isn’t approved within time, you will not be able to board your flight. So, before making flight bookings, find out whether you are entering the US soil. If you are, you will need an ESTA for your travel.

Also, it is suggested that you request ESTA at the earliest to avoid any sort of technical downtime. Remember that ESTA is an online process and there have been instances of technical downtime in the past. So, if you do not want your trip canceled, apply for your ESTA at the earliest.

3. Traveling with an ESTA if you have past offences

To travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program, you need to apply for an ESTA America (ESTA AMERIKA). The ESTA allows you to visit the US for tourism, business, and certain medical purposes. This is valid for citizens of the Netherlands and other countries that come under the VWP. However, to do so, you need to have your ESTA approved. Generally, ESTA is granted if the person fulfills the eligibility criteria and has truthfully answered all the security questions in the ESTA form.

If you are about to apply for an ESTA, it is important to know that apart from filling in your biometric and other details, you will also be asked to answer some questions. A few of these questions in the ESTA form is related to your past offenses. You will have to answer these questions while filling up your application.

If the answer to any of these questions is a YES, then you may be denied an ESTA. However, the decision for the same often depends on the time and degree of the offense. If the officer reviewing your ESTA finds that you can be permitted to land on the US soil, your ESTA may be approved.

4. What happens if your answers aren’t truthful?

If you have committed any offense in the past that may prove to be a hindrance in getting your ESTA approved, never think of lying on your ESTA form (ESTA FORMULIER). Many people think that it is easy to cheat the ESTA system. However, that isn’t quite true.

Even if you get your ESTA approved, you will have to pass through the US Customs and Border Patrol where agents will verify whether you are eligible for entry. Any wrong information on your ESTA will be immediately detected and you will not be allowed to enter the US. So, lying on your ESTA application will not help you. You may be deported to your country or denied further entry into the US.

5. What to do if ESTA is denied because of a past offense?

Even if your ESTA application is denied, you can still enter the US. To do so, you can simply apply for Visa America. Though obtaining a visa is a comparatively lengthy and cumbersome process, you will be able to enter the US for any purpose. All you have to do is apply for the related Visa, appear at an interview, and submit certain documents. The local consulate will determine whether you are eligible for entry to the US with your records.

Unless you have been booked for a grave crime recently, chances of obtaining a Visa America is quite high.
However, before you do so it is best to apply for an ESTA to know whether you can obtain approval or not. If you do not get approval, you can always apply for a Visa to visit the US. Make sure that you apply well in advance so that you have enough time for the Visa process if the need arises.

How to Travel Within USA

Travelling by Amtrak train is a recommended experience. The journey is comfortable, relaxing and can be scenic. It’s makes a pleasant contrast from cramped and disorientating airline travel. And for the motorist, makes a welcome change for hours of driving. Check Amtrak’s national network map and schedules. There are train services to most of the lower 48 states.

In the North East, there are many daily trains. West of Chicago, there may be only one daily service on each of the lines heading to the South and Pacific Coast. This means many railway stations will only have two daily Amtrak trains: one travelling in each direction. Book ahead. Train tickets are sold like airline tickets, with better prices for advance purchase. Amtrak offers through tickets for journeys involving connections.

For an overnight travel, consider a sleeping berth. You’ll have your own bed and usually access to a shower. Meals are included in the ticket price. You won’t get all the sleep you want, but it’s great fun to sleep on a train through the night, waking up somewhere new.

When booking a sleeping berth, Amtrak quotes the base fare plus an upgrade to a room with your bed. The upgrade is for the room which can between two who want to share. Rooms are small but are arranged allowing for twin bunked berths. Amtrak meals are fine. You’ll eat in a dining car and you’ll be seated next to other passengers, which makes for convivial conservation. But there’s a good enough selection of cooked meals appropriate for the time of day.

Arrive at the railway station at least 30 minute before, use the destination board and you’ll find yourself in a queue. Eventually, you’ll be directed to the train and your car. Amtrak trains are often late, sometimes by several hours. This can often happen on the long trips of several days from Chicago to the West Coast.

Kalyan Panja