The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), sponsored by a company of the same name, is a platform that began operating on January 12, 2009.
What you should know about ESTA and the U.S. visa
It is responsible for helping foreigners who meet the requirements of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), through an online platform.
For the consent of an unvisited authorization, on sea or air journeys to the United States with a stay of no more than 90 days. If you meet all the necessary requirements, the managers can process the extension of your stay in a maximum period of 72 hours, before the return flight.
Certainly, ESTA is not a visa, it is a travel authorization approved by the U.S. government.
In the case of a U.S. visa, if you already have a tourist or business visa such as B1 or B2, you do not need a permit, although you can apply for it without problems. However, with the visa you will be able to travel all over the country, as long as you use it for the purpose it was requested.
What happens if I am rejected for the program?
If applicants are rejected by the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), in the worst case scenario, a visa will become mandatory. Spanish, Andorran or Chilean tourists have the facility to apply for ESTA authorization with the minimum of necessary documents.
It could be said that the need for a visa or not is relative depending on the destination you are heading for. A very similar case occurs in the United States, because if you are a person who wishes to make a short-term trip abroad and you also fit into the profiles of the VWP – the association in charge of authorizing travel with ESTA – the visa no longer takes such a leading role in this situation.
But it is absolutely necessary to have the passport with which the procedure was done. This is usually essential when making stopovers, in the case of foreigners or dual nationals, when they are going to move from the United States with a visa or VWP approval to another country. If you have two Visa Waiver Program approvals (the U.S. and your destination), choose one of the two, since it usually generates confusion and consequently delays your trip.