Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Travel to the USA: what are the formalities (passport, Esta, visa...)?

Verified 20 October 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Travel to the United States for less than 90 days depends on the type of passport you hold.

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

You have a regular passport

If you have a valid French passport, you do not need a visa.

However, if you have a dual nationality with some countries or that you travelled there after February 2011, you must be in possession of a visa affixed to your french passport by the american authorities before you leave.

It is therefore advisable to visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate before you leave.

On the other hand before you leave, you must request Electronic Travel Authorisation (ESTA).

In general, the decision is made within 72 hours of your request.

Application for United States Travel Authorisation (Esta)

The delivery of the Esta costs $21.

The Esta is valid 2 yrs and allows you to travel to the United States several times without needing a new permit. If your passport expires before that time, the authorisation is only valid until the expiry date.

Please note

now, if you come to the United States by road or by train (via Canada or Mexico), the Esta is required. For example, you must receive an Esta before applying for admission to the U.S. and continue to pay the $6 I-94W fee, unless you enter the 90-day admission period.

You have obtained an emergency passport

You need a visa regardless of the type of trip (tourist, business or simple transit on US soil)

To get it, you have to request from the United States Embassy.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region