The ESTA Antrag process originated in 2008 and became mandatory in 2009. All travelers holding a German passport have to apply for the ESTA before boarding a cruise ship or airplane bound to the United States. The ESTA Antrag process is an online system that is implemented by the United States Government and managed by the Department of Homeland Security. The system is mandatory for every traveler who lives in a country that participates in the visa waiver program or VWP – including Germany. This article provides information on the ESTA application process.
Germany joined the visa waiver program in October 1989. In fact, German citizens could easily visit the United States after the country joined the VWP. They don’t have to apply for a traditional visa to visit the U.S. for 90 days or less for medical, business, leisure or transit purposes. But with the deteriorating security situation around the globe, the United States Government decided to introduce the ESTA system in 2008 to pre-screen such travelers who enter the United States without applying for a traditional visa. The ESTA scheme became mandatory in January 2009. In fact, the ESTA system is an online scheme where you have to apply for the authorization via the website of the Department of Homeland Security of the United States. The whole process will take less than a couple of minutes. You will receive the authorization via your email. That is why you need a valid email address before applying for the ESTA visa. There is a small administration fee that you need to pay when applying for the ESTA. You should have a valid credit or debit card to pay the fee. These are important things that you need to consider when applying for the ESTA visa to travel to the U.S.