France

ESTA for French Citizens

France has been a member of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) since 1989. During this time, French citizens have been able to benefit from using an ESTA as travel authorization to US instead of applying for a US visa. This makes it easier for French tourists and business people to make one-off or regular visits to the US.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • A biometric passport is required•Restricted to visits of up to 90 days
  • Required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
  • ESTA lasts for two years, or until passport expires
  • For tourism, business, medical or transit purposes
  • Children required to have their own ESTA
  • Can be used for multiple US visits
Application for French Citizens

Benefits of Applying for ESTA for French Citizens

Citizens from France can apply for an ESTA by simply completing an online ESTA application form , which usually takes less than 20 minutes to complete. The applicant then receives an email to confirm whether the ESTA has been approved or declined, usually within just a few hours. This process is much quicker than applying for a US visa, in the way that visitors from countries outside of the VWP must do.

As well as being a faster process, the ESTA is valid for two years (or until the passport expires). Within this time, the ESTA holder is able to make multiple trips to the US, without needing to apply for a new ESTA. The conditions are that the visit to the US is not for longer than 90 days at one time and the applicant can visit for tourism or business, but must not work whilst in the US. French citizens who are looking to work or study in the US must apply for a work or study visa instead.

The other advantage of applying for ESTA instead of a visa is that it costs less for the application fee and you will not have to travel to the US Embassy in Paris for an interview. You will not need to wait for an appointment time either, which can be one of the big delays in processing a visa.

How French Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

French citizens require a valid passport, an email address and an electronic payment card to pay the application fee. Log onto the ESTA website and complete the questions on the application form, which include personal details such as name, address and DOB. You will also need to provide your passport details, so make sure that you have that with you when you are filling the form in. Be very careful when you are filling in the application form for the ESTA, as an error could cause a delay or decline for your ESTA. It is recommended that you apply for the ESTA at least 72 hours before the time of travel to the US. This should give enough time in case there are any issues with the system or other delays in the processing of the application.

What to do if ESTA is Declined

If the application is declined, French citizens may be able to apply for a US visa instead. To do this, they should complete the DS-160 form and arrange an interview at the US Embassy.

US Embassy address in France:

U.S. Embassy Paris
2 avenue Gabriel
75008 Paris
France

Benefits of ESTA for French citizens:
  • Travel authorization for visits of up to 90 days
  • Fast processing time
  • Use for tourism, business, medical or transit in US
  • Easy and fast application process
  • Use mobile or desktop to complete form
  • Multiple visits to US allowed