May it be for business or leisure purposes, German citizens like you will most likely visit the USA. However, you can’t merely get on the plane and fly there as easily as 1, 2, 3, as you need the visum USA, especially if you don’t have the current paper visa. Here are some facts that you need to know when applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to board a US-bound flight.

Do I need a visa to travel to the US?

German travelers to the United States do not need a visa but an ESTA instead. It is because German citizens are under the Visa Waiver Program, making them eligible to apply online for an ESTA. However, if you already have the visum USA, then there is no need for you to apply for ESTA.

What is an ESTA?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) serves as an automated system that helps determine if you are eligible to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It also indicates whether your travel poses any threat or risk to the law enforcement of the country.

What is VWP?

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), administered by the DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security), allows eligible citizens and nationals of specific countries to be able to travel to the US. Travel validity applies for tourism and business purposes for up to 90 days without a visa.

What documents do I need to apply for the ESTA?

Before jumping off online to apply at the site, you need to prepare for the following:

  • Electronic passport with a digital chip of your biometric info;
  • At least 6-month passport validity from the planned date of entry; and
  • Passport number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Applying for the visum USA online may be a new thing for you, so you need to be guided accordingly to prevent personal information leakage. You may feel hesitant at first, but applying online is more convenient, less costly, and less time-consuming, especially if you don’t have much time to arrange your US travel documents.