How to prepare your trip to the United States?

Everyone has dreamed of travelling to the USA at least once in their lives. The American dream has indeed crossed the borders of the United States and people from all over the world wish to experience the American way of life. The lucky ones will be able to fulfil this wish. Before leaving, however, there are some preparations to be made.

Travelling to the US: the ‘surprises’ to expect

Americans have their own habits and unfortunately French tourists do not always expect them. Those who are going to travel to the USA in the near future should inform themselves about the culture of their future hosts.

In the United States, for example, taxes will not be printed on labels or receipts. The buyer will have to calculate the VAT and other forms of taxation himself. They will then have to pay this amount when paying.

Tourists should also take the bare necessities with them when visiting a government building or any place of interest. Usually, electronic devices are not allowed. In addition, body searches will even be carried out in some cases. All these measures are intended to prevent terrorist attacks.

In many states, the law is applied to the letter. For example, you can be fined for not using a pedestrian crossing when crossing the street. Americans are familiar with the courts. They are used to taking legal action if they find a valid reason. It is therefore advisable to take certain precautions to avoid becoming the victim of a lawsuit.

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Gentlemen should be especially careful with women. Street harassment is a punishable offence in most states.

Formalities for entering the United States

Before immersing themselves in American culture, travellers still have to deal with certain formalities before setting foot on American soil. The steps to be taken depend on the tourist’s profile and the length of their stay. France is one of the countries eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. As such, French citizens do not need to apply for a visa to go to the USA. However, they must obtain an ESTA authorisation. This document can be obtained directly on the internet.

Applicants do not have to go to a consulate or embassy. They only have to fill in an online form. The applicant must provide certain information about his or her trip, such as the reasons for the trip and the duration of the stay. They must also send certain documents to prove their identity. The checks will be carried out automatically and the result of the request will be issued as soon as possible.

This simple procedure can be carried out by anyone. To increase your chances of obtaining ESTA authorisation, it is strongly recommended that you complete this formality via an independent platform.

Get your ESTA visa in less than 72 hours thanks to an independent platform

As you may have read below, you can obtain your ESTA authorisation online on sites specialising in administrative documents. This process is generally quick, as the VISA will be issued to you within 72 hours and is valid for 2 years.

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The cost of this visa is between 15 and 40 € depending on the service provider chosen.

Be careful when filling in this document, some questions may seem completely absurd, but it is advisable to answer them frankly. You will be greeted by a border agent who will ask you to hand over your ESTA visa. Forget all forms of jokes which would be very badly seen and could end up with you being refused entry to the United States.

Simple stopover in the United States: ESTA visa required?

In order to control these migratory flows, the United States introduced in 2008 a travel visa for all non-US citizens whose stay is less than 90 days. For longer stays, you will need to contact the US embassy to obtain a VISA compatible with your project on US soil.

L’ESTA exempte les formalités de demande d’entrée sur le territoire au Consulat américain, ce qui permet de gagner du temps pour les courts séjours. Mais quelle est la notion de court séjour ? Une escale sans sortir de l’aéroport exempte-t-elle les démarches de ce visa ?

Non, c’est une information très importante et souvent méconnue de nombreux voyageurs, si possédez un vol avec une escale aux États-Unis, vous devrez être possession du visa ESTA, sous peine de vous voir refuser l’accès à votre correspondance.

Malheureusement, une grande partie des compagnies aériennes, oublient de le mentionner dans l’achat des billets, ce qui cause de nombreux quiproquo aux aéroports.