You always need a valid visa to travel abroad. If you are planning to visit the United States for long-term stay, you will need to apply for specific category of visa. People traveling to US for tourism, meet their family and relatives, medical treatment, to attend some event or family function, education, and business need to apply for tourist/ business (B1/B2) visa. Although US consulate has provision to issue multiple visa in this category for a period of 10 years at a time but your single stay after your entry into United States cannot exceed six months at a time.
Benefits of ESTA under VWP
Visa Waiver Program (VWP) of US government was established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 12, 2009 to dispense with visa issue requirement for specific category of travelers holding citizenship of 38 listed eligible counties. The system of electronic travel certification, termed as Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was established to facilitate short-term tourist, business, and transit travelers from 38 listed countries to enter in the United States without visa and stay there up to 90 days at stretch, subject to fulfilling mandatory requirements for this certification. The list of eligible countries, details of essential requirement, modification in provisions, and application submission are all possible online on one platform which is the US government’s official website esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You can find every information on this website and check your eligibility prior to submitting tour application. There is nominal service fee of US$ 14 to apply for this certification which is quite low compared to B1/B2 visa fee.
Easy entry for short stay in US
Now, if you are planning your short holidays up to 90 days in US country, wish to set up meeting with your clients for business, or to attend some business conference / seminar, you needn’t have the hassle of going through the visa issuing procedure. But can’t submit ESTA application if you’re already holding a visa.