America is a country that speaks enormously to the imagination. The sheer size of the country and the varied landscape, the status that the country has, the iconic buildings and works of art make it a country that attracts a huge number of people every year who want to see it with their own eyes. Everyone wants to taste a bit of The American Dream. America is certainly not a country to go to unprepared. It has strict immigration regulations and applying for an ESTA or Visa is therefore mandatory for everyone who wants to enter the country. How exactly you apply for an ESTA is still unclear to many people and we are happy to help you with this.
What is an ESTA?
An ESTA is a document that allows the US government to verify that the traveler does not pose a threat to security in the country, but also that they are not on a blacklist somewhere. So it is a document through which an extra check can be made and the US is sure about who is entering their country.
While applying for a VISA can be a long process, applying for an ESTA is arranged in no time! An ESTA is valid for a maximum period of two years or until you get a new passport.
Who is an ESTA intended for?
The ESTA is available to every citizen of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of these countries must apply for travel authorization in advance to travel to the United States.
This concerns citizens who visit the country for private or business purposes for a maximum of 90 days. If the travel period is longer, a visa is required. If you are in possession of a Greencard, you do not need to apply for an ESTA.
How do I apply for an ESTA?
You can apply for an ESTA via Visa Abroad or click on this link Apply for ESTA or apply for ESTA here. In order to complete an ESTA and thus obtain permission to enter the United States, there are a number of steps that you must follow. These are:
Enter your contact details
Enter your travel details
Answer questions about yourself
Answer questions about your background
After you have gone through all these steps and you have applied for your ESTA, you will in most cases receive an email the same day in which the ESTA will be awarded and you can therefore travel to the United States and experience your American Dream!
Driving in America
Are you planning to use a rental car during your trip? Then there are a number of things you should pay attention to. For example, the roads are a lot wider than in the Netherlands and there are many more cars driving around than you are probably used to in the Netherlands.
Despite this, the roads in America are designed for this and traffic generally runs very smoothly.
keep your lane
Where in the Netherlands we are used to changing lanes a lot and driving neatly on the right, this is different in the United States. Here they drive under the motto ‘keep your lane’, which means that you do not constantly change lanes, but simply stay in the same lane. This means that you can also be overtaken from the right.
stick to the rules
The American police are very strict when it comes to road safety. Violation of the rules is therefore relatively severely punished. For example, speeding is punishable by very large fines and it has one of the most severe penalties for drink-driving. Especially when this causes an accident!
A credit card is essential in the United States
Using a credit card is common practice in the United States. In the Netherlands we are used to paying with a Maestro card that we have received from our bank, but in America this is hardly possible anywhere. Instead, everything is paid for with a credit card. In many cases it is also only possible to pay with a credit card or it is requested to provide deposits.