The ESTA has been introduced in the USA for Latvian citizens since 2009. It is an electronic procedure for the participating countries of the VWP (Visa Waiver Program). Citizens of the participating countries require ESTA to enter the United States.
What is ESTA?
ESTA is the acronym for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is on a travel authorization to the United States issued by the Department of Homeland Security and processed by an electronic system that allows you to request a permit to enter the United States through the Internet.
US ESTA will enable you to prepare a US Travel permit online based on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Is ESTA the same as Visa?
No, ESTA allows you to travel and the United States WITHOUT the need to obtain a VISA.
If you are going to work or to immigrate to the US, you are required to apply for a Visa.
Who is obliged to process an ESTA form?
All passengers traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, including Latvia, are required to process their ESTA authorization. It must be approved before going to the United States by air or by sea.
If you are traveling in a group, for example, with your family, each member of your family must fill out an ESTA form. Even minors who do not pay a ticket are required to have an approved travel authorization.
If any member of your family does not have a visa to travel to the US, you are authorized to submit an ESTA application on behalf of another traveler. For example, your wife, your children, by filling out an additional ESTA form for each traveler.
Does an ESTA authorization or visa guarantee admission to the United States?
If your ESTA application or visa is approved, you get permission to travel to the States. This does not guarantee admission to the territory of the United States.
Once you arrive in the United States, at the port of entry, a US Customs and Border Control Service officer will inspect your case and who can determine whether or not you are admissible under United States law.
How long is my ESTA authorization valid?
Unless revoked, an ESTA authorization is eligible for two years since the approval date. It can be the case until the passport expires, whichever goes first.
When do I need to request a travel authorization?
You can process your ESTA application at any time before traveling to the United States.
We recommend application at the least with 72 hours in advance of the start date of your trip.
Can I process my ESTA if I’m not sure if I can travel to the US?
Travelers can process your application ESTA and obtain a travel authorization without specific plans to travel if they want to be able to do from one moment to another.
Travelers within the Visa Waiver Program, including Latvia, are not required to have specific plans to travel to the United States before requesting travel authorization.
If the destination address of the traveler in the United States is unknown at the time the ESTA application is processed, the traveler must provide the name of the hotel or approximate location of the site he intends to visit.
You can update your information when they have completed their plans. However, you are not required to update your destination addresses or itineraries in case if you change their plans after their ESTA has been approved.
The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travel authorization applications be submitted to ESTA as soon as possible, or even before travel is planned.
Do I need to process the ESTA if I will only be passing through the United States in transit to another country?
Yes, citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program need a travel authorization to travel in the United States.
If a traveler only plans to transit through the United States en route to another country, when completing his ESTA application, he must state that he is “In Transit” and the place of his final destination.