The ESTA visa waiver program is quite the convenient workaround for people traveling to the US. You would otherwise have to get a visa approved for your trip, and that can be a slow and dramatic process indeed. You would have to do an in-person interview at the consulate, and well, you get the idea. With the visa waiver program, you get to handle your application online and be on your way to the US.
There are conditions that have to be met. The list of countries whose citizens are eligible for the VWP through ESTA is available on the Homeland Security website. You will want to check certain eligibility requirements like that before you start your application. Then you can just proceed through the application process to check and see if you get approved for the ESTA visa waiver program.
You might not be aware that you actually need what’s called an e-passport. It is now required, so make sure you look into that. It should also be mentioned that the ESTA program and approval doesn’t guarantee a person entry into the US. This needs to be mentioned because it is the official word from the Department of Homeland Security, the site where you apply for ESTA.
People certainly don’t need to be misinformed. The ESTA allows you to travel to the US, and yes, you are ‘supposed’ to be allowed to gain entry at that point. Yet gaining entry into the country is something that customs officers are going to determine after you arrive in the country in person.
While that may not necessarily be peace of mind, it’s just protocol. Once approved for the ESTA, you’re supposed to be good to go. It just means that you have to prove yourself in person. After getting approved for the ESTA, you can make your travel arrangements.