Details of ESTA for Spanish Citizens

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The ESTA (Electronic Travel Authorization System) was developed in 2009 to streamline the processing of visa waiver applicants and provide for the U.S. Customs and Border Control, as well as the Homeland Security Department (DHS) with the ability to pre-screen travelers against various lists on no-fly, terrorist, and terror list. However, security measures, designed to counter terrorist threats, required travelers to be pre-screened before they arrive in the U.S. Any person entering the United States under the visa waiver program will be required to hold an authorized ESTA commencing on January 12, 2009. Foreign nationals not qualifying for ESTA or refused an ESTA may need to apply for a U.S. visa. As a result, Spanish citizens have been required to get an accepted ESTA application for entry to the United States since 2009.

Evening view of cathedral in cuenca

What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables individuals from member countries to travel as non-immigrants to the USA for industry, medical purposes, tourism, and transportation. Travelers arriving in the U.S. under the VWP are entitled to stay up to 90 days per visit and are not eligible to obtain any travel documents, such as a U.S. visa. Currently, there are 39 countries participated in the VWP. Individuals who fly under the VWP tend to waive their review or appeal privileges. In 1991 Spain entered the Visa Waiver System.

What are the purposes of ESTA allowed for Spanish citizens?

The ESTA allows Spanish citizens to enter the United States without a visa for up to 90 days per entering for tourism, business, transit, medical, and short study purposes.

What is the information required to apply the ESTA for Spanish citizens?

The following information is required to submit the form:

  1. Passport information
  2. Contact information including home address and telephone number(s)
  3. Travel information such as your U.S. point of contact and U.S. accommodation address
  4. Employment information (if employed)
  5. Credit or debit card information for paying the application fee

How long will it take to process the ESTA for Spanish citizens?

ESTA for Spanish citizens may take 72 hours to process, but most requests are accepted within minutes or a few hours.

How long is valid of ESTA for Spanish citizens?

ESTA for Spanish citizens is valid for two years from the authorization date or until your passport expiry, whichever comes first. Your travel authorization will also immediately terminate when your passport expires unless the travel authorization is issued before the end of the two years.

What are the conditions of ESTA for Spanish citizens?

The full conditions on an ESTA for Spanish citizens are:

· ESTA is valid for 24 months from the date of acceptance (or from the date of expiry of the passport if the passport expires during the next 24 months);

· Multiple entries may use ESTA;

· The ESTA can only be used for visits up to 90 days per stay from the date of arrival to a U.S. territory;

· ESTA holder is entitled to pursue tourism and certain business activities such as exploring employment opportunities, consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference; and

· The holder of an ESTA is not permitted to engage in any work, study, or training.

Can an ESTA guarantee entry into the USA?

An official travel authorization allows you to fly to the U.S. only; it does not guarantee your admission. Admission is decided by a Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) who will check your passport and ask you questions about your visit when you arrive in the U.S.

Is an ESTA like a visa?

No, an ESTA is not a visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory criteria to operate in place of a U.S. visa when a U.S. law requires a visa. Individuals who hold a valid visa will also be able to fly on that visa to the United States for the reason for which it has been issued. Individuals traveling on valid U.S. visas do not apply for an ESTA, either.

What are the travel requirements ESTA for Spanish citizens?

Tourism: Your travel to the United States is for tourism, vacations, friends’ or family visits, as well as medical care.

Business: visit in the U.S. to meet with business partners or sign contracts with potential customers.

Professional Events: You must attend a U.S. Science, Educational, Medical, or Business Conference, or Short-Term Unpaid Training. Except for reimbursements for expenses incurred during your stay, you are not entitled to accept payment for attending such activities. 

Social Events: Your travel to the United States will include taking part in social activities such as those organized by a fraternal, charitable, or community organization. Participation in amateur music, sports, or related activities or competitions is also allowed if visitors do not receive any gifts or awards, which may be a form of payment.

Recreation: Your travel to the United States is for a brief recreational study course, such as a knitting course, but it is not allowed to take part in courses granting credit to a degree.

What are the passport requirements of ESTA for Spanish citizens?

The passport has to have a digital chip with the passport holder’s digital image. This digital chip carries specific passport holder identifiers. The personal information section must also have a dedicated, readable area. The two text lines with numbers and chevrons (<< <) at the bottom of the page describe this.

Travel sightseeing at ronda, ronda cliff vacation in spain

What are the other requirements of ESTA for Spanish citizens?

Travelers arriving into the U.S. must hold a return ticket to their home country or an onward ticket to another non-U.S. destination. A copy of the itinerary must be held at the port of entry for a display to U.S. immigration while traveling on an electronic ticket.

How do applying ESTA for Spanish citizens to visit the U.S.?

· Double-check your passport number and the passport-issuing country while filling the online form and complete your document upload.

· Confirm each traveler’s data.

· Submit the request and Make your payment online

· When a CBP decision (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) is made, the application status will be emailed to you.

Will I have to take a scanned version of my travel permit with me to turn up at the airport?

Your travel authorization does not need to be printed out as the system is entirely electronic, and your air or sea carrier would be able to access your DHS ESTA status information. Printing a copy of your authorized authorization to have proof on hand and to have a record of your application number may be a smart idea.

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