Best Guide on Visa Process for French Traveling to the USA

Traveling from France to the USA is an exhilarating experience waiting to unfold. Picture this: the majestic Statue of Liberty, the sprawling beauty of the Grand Canyon, the vibrant entertainment in Las Vegas, and the bustling streets of New York City. These are just a few highlights that await French travelers seeking adventure and culture in the United States. Before embarking on your journey, understanding the visa process is essential to ensure a smooth trip. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) provides an avenue for French citizens to travel to the US without the traditional visa, using an Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA.

ESTA allows for a hassle-free entry into the USA for tourism, business, or transit purposes. French nationals can enjoy the benefits of a streamlined process that avoids long appointments and paperwork traditionally associated with visas. In this article, we’ll explore the essential information French travelers need to know about the ESTA, highlighting the simplicity and convenience it offers.

Understanding the ESTA for French Citizens

The ESTA is not a visa but a travel authorization for citizens from VWP countries, including France. It allows travel to the US for up to 90 days per visit for eligible purposes. It is important to apply for an ESTA well in advance of your trip – even though approval can be fast, having this sorted early will provide peace of mind as your travel date approaches.

How to Apply for an ESTA from France

The ESTA application process is simple and user-friendly for French citizens. It involves several key steps:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

Requirements for French Passport Holders

For French nationals, the main requirement is to have an e-passport that is compliant with the VWP. This passport must have a digital chip containing biometric information. Besides the passport, other requirements you need to fulfill include:

  • A completed ESTA application
  • Plan to stay in the USA for 90 days or less
  • Travel for tourism, certain types of business, or while in transit
  • A return ticket to France or an onward journey

Remember that the ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. During that period, you can enter the US multiple times without needing to reapply, as long as each visit is within the 90-day limit.

Benefits of the ESTA for French Travelers

The ESTA provides various advantages for French citizens aiming to visit the USA:

  • Convenience: The online application process is quick and can be done from the comfort of your home.
  • Speed: Approval is often granted within hours, though officially it can take up to 72hrs.
  • Multiple Entries: With a valid ESTA, you can enter the US several times over its two-year validity.

Common Questions About ESTA

Can the ESTA be extended while in the USA?

No, the ESTA cannot be extended. Trips must be 90 days or less, and you must leave the United States before applying for another ESTA if needed.

Is proof of accommodation needed to get an ESTA?

You’re not required to provide proof of accommodation when applying for an ESTA, but having your travel plans sorted is recommended.

What if my passport expires before my ESTA?

Your ESTA is no longer valid if your passport expires. You will need to reapply for an ESTA with your new passport.


The ESTA program provides an efficient and convenient way for French citizens to visit the USA, whether it’s for a quick business trip, a family holiday, or simply passing through. By fulfilling the ESTA application steps and understanding the entry requirements, French travelers can look forward to experiencing the diverse and vibrant culture of the United States. Ready to start your adventure? Begin your application today, and get one step closer to the American dream.

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