DHS Announces Pre-Travel Authorization Program for U.S.-Bound Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries
"Getting this information in advance enables our front-line personnel to determine whether a visa-free traveler presents a threat, before boarding an aircraft or arriving on our shores. It is a relatively simple and effective way to strengthen our security, and that of international travelers, while helping to preserve an important program for key allies."
Visa Waiver applicants will not be able to enter the U.S. without an ESTA beginning January 12th, 2009.
Several questions addressed by the DHS FAQ (available at the USCIS website) are:
- What is ESTA? When does ESTA become mandatory for travelers?
- What is the application process for ESTA?
- What are the anticipated ramifications of the implementation of ESTA?