Helpful ESTA Facts and Tips for Finnish Citizens
Traveling to the US is made possible and much simpler for passport holders belonging to visa waiver countries declared by the United States. Finnish citizens, for instance, can apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA visa waiver to travel to the US. By applying for ESTA, citizens from Finland can visit the US without any visa up to 90 days each visit for tourism, transit, short-study, medical, or business purposes. Since 1991, Finland is listed as one of the countries included in the Visa Waiver Program of the US. Nevertheless, pre-screening of travelers is vital before they arrive to the United States for security reasons like addressing terrorism threats.
Back in 2009, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization was made to aim at streamlining visa waiver application processing. It was also created for the Department of Homeland Security and the US Customs and Border Protection to pre-screen travelers from their criminal, no-fly, and terrorist list databases. Therefore, beginning 2009, citizens from Finland are only allowed entry to the US if they obtain an approval from their ESTA application. Unfortunately, applying for a US visa may be necessary if the Finnish citizen is ineligible for or denied ESTA approval, intend to travel for purposes not allowed by the ESTA, or plan to visit the US for over 90 days.
For Finnish citizens to get ESTA approval, you need to apply for it online. Before boarding a sea vessel or flying by air to the US, you need an ESTA, and you should apply for it about 72 hours before departure. For you to apply for ESTA online, make sure that you can present an electronic passport that is not expired and valid. Before ESTA application, carefully review every detail and requirements of the ESTA. For more FAQs about the ESTA, take the time to check their official websites.
As a Finnish citizen, after getting ESTA application approval, you still don’t have the same level of rights as holders of US visas. Applicants of US visa need to file a more detailed application form referred to as the DS-160. Moreover, they are required to be interviewed at a US embassy or consulate. Depending on the kind of US visa these travelers will get, they also need to provide additional documents that prove how genuine they are for their travel purpose and plans before going to the country.
When you apply for ESTA, make sure that you submit it at about 72 hours before you travel to the US. When your ESTA application is rejected, you have the option to apply for either B1 Business Visa or a B2 Tourist Visa. Despite ESTA approval, it may get revoked anytime. Furthermore, getting approval for your ESTA is no guarantee for admission to the US.