Are you planning to have a family vacation soon? It is essential for families to spend time together in new places and explore new things. This helps strengthen the bond between the family members as they make memories. However, the US government has various provisions for all travellers. Any traveller should meet the set rules and regulations.
Initially, people who wanted to visit the US were required to apply for a visa as travel authorization. However, this changed with the introduction of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA). This article will help you understand ESTA’s importance and whether kids need it to travel.
What is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization?
An ESTA involves an automated system that authorizes the entry of travellers into the United States territories. This system determines the eligibility of persons travelling to the US guided by the Visa Waiver Program(VWP).
If you plan to go to the United States under the VWP, you must acquire an electronic System for Travel Authorization before your travel date. Typically, the Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security control this program.
Any traveller wishing to acquire the ESTA authorization must apply online and obtain it at least three days before travel. Nevertheless, you can apply earlier than that to be safer if your application is declined. This way, you will have time to find an alternative.
Do Children Require ESTA to Travel?
When preparing for your trip, you will likely have many questions. Some of them include: Do babies need an ESTA for USA? Generally, kids need to have an ESTA regardless of their age when travelling to the United States. However, the ESTA is applied in the same way you apply it to adults. The law requires any minor below the age of 18 to find an adult to complete the application process for them.
Thus, Guardians or parents should complete the ESTA authorization on behalf of the kids and the ESTA linked to the kid’s passport. Usually, the authorization for travel to the US differs from other countries in many aspects. Therefore, preparing well before your travel date is crucial.
On the other hand, if you are travelling as a family and do not want to fill out ESTA for each individual, you can opt for an ESTA group application. This will include all the family members travelling, making the process even simpler. Nevertheless, it is essential t remember that each child requires an individual valid passport to allow them to qualify for the ESTA. This means that you cannot include your kid in your passport.
How Long Can I Stay in the US with an ESTA?
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization allows travellers to stay in the US territories for a period of up to 90 days per trip. An ESTA authorization forms a part of the Visa Waiver Program, which aims to reduce the complexity of travelling to the US. The good news is that you can complete the ESTA online in a simple process. This process involves answering various questions which seek to ascertain your eligibility to enter the US.