Way back before 2009, if you have ever entered the United States for tourist or business purpose, you might have went through visa processing well before your intended date of departure because visa issuance sometimes may take a few months due to administrative processing but there has been lot of simplification in this system by establishment of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and electronic travel authorization system, called ESTA under this program.
Why ESTA is preferred over visa
The electronic travel document is preferred over visa by short-term business, tourist, and transit visitors whose visit is not going to exceed 90 days in this country. Electronic System for Travel Authorization ESTA 申請 is advantageous compared to visa for short-term and single time visitors. The non-refundable visa application fee is very high and constantly go on increasing over years due to increased administrative costs of the US consulate offices. If your visa is rejected, the fee deposited with visa application is forfeited. Thus, business/tourist US visa or what is referred as B1/B2 visa is time and money consuming process. No doubt, US consulate normally issues 10-year multiple visa for this purpose, but once you enter the United States, your stay can’t exceed six months at a time. If you’re not frequent visitor to this country or you have no future plan of US visit for at least next 10 years, getting visa is not an appropriate method of entry for you. For instance, if you’re just going to attend some wedding function of family or friend, there is no use of multiple visa for you.
Easy way to get electronic authorization
There is a simple solution for short-term business/tourist entry, if you don’t want to go in the hassle of visa processing. Anyone intending to plan short-term visit to US can visit US Department of Homeland Security’s official website esta.cbp.dhs.gov, check his eligibility, and submit application for electronic travel document.