Evisa Requirements for French Citizens in Transit Through the USA

Traveling to the United States, even for a brief stopover, can be an exciting highlight for many international travelers. If you’re a French national planning a quick transit through the USA, such as taking a connecting flight to another destination, it’s vital to know the travel requirements in advance. The vitality of cities like New York, the allure of the sunny coasts of California, and the cultural melting pot found across the nation make any stopover an opportunity to glimpse the American dream.

As a traveler from France, you’re in a favorable position thanks to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This program allows French citizens to visit or transit through the United States without obtaining a conventional visa for trips under 90 days. Instead, a much simpler system known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is all that’s needed for your transit journey.

Understanding the ESTA for Transit Through the USA

While a full visa isn’t necessary for French citizens transiting through the USA, an ESTA remains a crucial requirement. It essentially pre-screens travelers for security purposes and grants them permission to board a plane or vessel bound for the United States. This quick and straightforward process can save you significant time and hassle as opposed to applying for a traditional visa.

How to Apply for an ESTA for Transit Purposes

Applying for an ESTA is a breeze – here are the steps you need to follow:

  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. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorisation and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If needed urgently, we offer expedited processing options at checkout that can fast-track your application.

ESTA Validity for Transit

An approved ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Over this period, you can use it to transit through the USA or visit for tourism or business without the need for re-application, provided each stay does not exceed 90 days.

Requirements for French Nationals Transiting the USA

French travelers will need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for an ESTA:

  • Your trip, including transit, must not exceed 90 days.
  • You must hold an e-Passport that complies with the VWP standards; it should have a digital chip containing biometric info.

Remember that an ESTA doesn’t guarantee entry to the United States. Upon arrival, you will have to go through Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where a CBP officer will determine your eligibility to transit or enter the country.

The ESTA has streamlined the process for VWP Countries nationals, including the French, to transit through the USA, making planning your travel a lot more straightforward.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if My ESTA Application is Denied?

If your ESTA application is denied, you will need to apply for a traditional transit visa through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Can I Visit Multiple U.S. Cities on a Transit ESTA?

Yes, within the 90 days granted under the VWP, you can visit multiple cities or even states. However, the primary purpose of your journey should be transit.

Does ESTA for Transit Allow Me to Leave the Airport?

Yes, with an ESTA, you are allowed to leave the airport. For instance, if you have a long layover, you can explore the city. Ensure your transit plans comply with the 90-day limitation.


For citizens of France, transiting through the USA can be a smooth and hassle-free process with the help of an ESTA. Ensure you apply ahead of time, comply with all regulations, and you’ll be well on your way through American territories, perhaps with a chance to explore a bit along the way. Bon voyage!

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