If you are planning to visit the USA with family, there are number of factors you need to consider from schedule of your flight through from arranging travel organisation for your family or group.
The authorisation to enter USA is different than other countries. When travelling to the USA, you must arrange a travel authorisation before you travel, which should be in the form of ESTA.
An ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) allows to travel to the USA for up to ninety days. The Visa Waiver Program is arranged by the USA government, also forms a part in it. The application process can be completed online, in a straightforward manner where you have to answer a few questions in order to know, whether you will be allowed to enter to the USA.
If you are planning to take children to the USA, the important part is, you should also apply an ESTA for kids to travel. Application process for children is in the same way that you apply for your own. Children under the age of eighteen must get an adult to complete the application process by answering the questions in the questionnaire. However, there is an ESTA group application to complete for your whole family to make the process easier.
Children must have their valid passport to apply for an ESTA. When you are applying for an ESTA, it is important to apply at least seventy two hours before you travelling, whether it is individual or collective application.
How to apply for your child’s ESTA:
All the travelers travelling to the USA, must have a legal authorization to enter the country. So before you planned family holiday or trip for the USA, you have to fill the online ESTA form for each member of your family. Including babies and young children, every member of the family must have their own ESTA. On the behalf of young children or babies, parents or legal guardian have to their fill the application form, they just need to fill that information in the relevant section. There are series of questions in the form that should be completed carefully, which includes name, date of birth, address, medical details and passport details.
After completing the ESTA application for your children, you can pay and submit the application. Each member of the family will have their own reference number that you send an application for.
If any member of the travelling family or group including child’s or babies, has not received ESTA, in that case airline will point out when you check in for your flight.
Children with legal guardian to travel:
In case, the child is travelling with another relative, then a letter of authorization with the signature of child’s parents is required in order to confirm that they give permission for them to travel. Any legal documents that apply to the child’s identity should be taken to show in evidence that they have parental or legal guardian permission to travel.
When you apply for a child’s ESTA, it may be valid for two year or until the passport expires. But it does not mean that you can stay in the USA for two year though, an ESTA stay limits is just ninety days. However, you can arrange multiple trips to the USA within the validity of two years provided, but you do not stay for longer than the ninety days limit. If your or yours child’s passport expires then the associated ESTA also expires. So, in that case you need to apply for a new ESTA then that will be electronically linked to your passport.
If you are planning to travel to the USA for longer than ninety days limit, or your reason for travel is not tourism or business, then you would be required to complete a USA visa related to the purpose of your travel. There are many different types of US visa and some of them have related visas for a visa holder’s children and spouse.
Applying for group ESTA:
You can simply fill the online form for the whole family or group travelling to the USA, in order to save time and long process all of the family’s travel authorization at once. Be aware of the fact that if you are applying for a child’s ESTA visiting the USA, they must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardian.