The Visa Waiver Program is a U.S. government program that enables citizens from participating countries to enter the United States for business or visitor purposes without obtaining a visa. The advantage of entering the United States with an approved ESTA application is that you can travel to the United States on short notice. However, not everybody can enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Only citizens of the Visa Waiver countries are eligible to apply. Travellers with a passport from any other country must obtain a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa in advance. Note that a travel authorization (ESTA) must be applied online in advance, while the From I-94W usually is completed while flying to the USA or before the entering the U.S port.
The traveller must provide following personal information: first and last name, gender, birth date, passport number, passport issuing country and expiration date, citizenship, as well the applicant can provide information about the travel details as destination, hotel and flight number. The applicant is also required to answer eligibility questions regarding convictions for certain crimes, communicable diseases, arrests, and past history of visa revocation or deportation.
Applicants are not required to have detailed and specific plans to travel to the United States before they submit for a travel authorization ESTA. If the travel details for the United States are unknown when the applicant submits the ESTA application, the applicant doesn’t have to fill out the fields for the travel details. The travel details can be updated once the travel plans are finalized. It is not required to update the travel details in case they change after the ESTA has been approved. The US Government recommends that applications for travel authorization shall be submitted as early as possible.
If an ESTA application is not approved from the US Government and the applicant wishes to continue with his plan to travel to the United States, the traveller has the possibility to apply for a non-immigrant visa at any American embassy or consulate.