Do I need to apply for ESTA authorization if I travel by land from Mexico to the United States?
ESTA is the tool for those who wish to travel legally to the United States on a temporary basis.
It is mainly known for being a travel authorization or request that was made through an online system developed by the U.S. Government, to pre-examine passengers who apply for entry into the country, so they can authorize it or not, whose acronym has the meaning of “Electronic System for Travel Authorization“.
What you should know about ESTA in these cases
Now, this system usually generates many questions among users and one of the most frequent would be this: do you need to apply for ESTA if you are going by land from Mexico? If your trip starts first in Mexico or Canada and you are going to travel by land to the United States, then ESTA will not be necessary.
The certificate only applies when entering the country by air or sea, so as long as you enter through a land border it will not be required. However, if you must fill out the green I-94W card, as it was done in the airplanes before the existence of the ESTA…
So in effect, both travelers departing from Canada and the United Mexican States are exempt from applying for ESTA if they do so by land. Obviously, Mexico and Canada are the only cases where this scenario would apply, given that they are the only countries that have a land border with the U.S. And you might ask yourself: Is it possible to arrive by sea to Mexico or Canada and then enter the U.S. by land without applying for ESTA? Yes, it is. You can and will only require the -94W card for that. Currently ESTA is only required when attempting to enter the United States by sea or air. If you are traveling on both of these routes, apply for your ESTA.
Can my ESTA be rejected?
Keep in mind that even if you have already obtained your certificate without problems a first time, it is possible that the next one will be rejected if there are any inconsistencies or aggravating circumstances.
The ESTA is renewable, but it is still at the discretion of U.S. government officials to approve and reject an application. However, if your application is rejected, you can reapply within 10 days.
Once you apply, your ESTA certificate will be e-mailed to you in no more than 72 hours, although it often arrives in less time. Officials of the U.S. consular or diplomatic corps are usually quick to handle these formalities, since it is one of the most frequent and requested.