Who should apply for ESTA?
The Esta form must be completed by all the visitors of the countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you don’t fill the online form and do not receive travel authorization, you will not be allowed to the travel to the United States, unless you already have a visa.
This is why the ESTA form must be requested by everyone who wants to enter the United States. Every traveler must have his personal ESTA. This is also true for children and infants. The ESTA can be requested for tourism, business, minor medical and short-term educational related reasons (under 18 hours per week).
However, you can also request the ESTA for a third-party traveler.
Alice is of French nationality, which is among those allowed to being visa-exempt. Next week she will visit her dearest friend Francis who has been living in Miami for several years now. Before Alice could buy a ticket, Francis had already obtained the ESTA online authorization for her. The ESTA is necessary for Alice in order to take the plane which is going to get the two friends together for a few weeks.
Matilda lives with his family in Berlin. For Christmas they chose to go on vacation in Acapulco, Mexico this year. Their flight will make a stopover in New York. Matilda and her family will need to obtain an ESTA for each member of the family before they can embark for their final destination. Even if she and her family are in transit in the US, Matilda’s family is German so they are entitled to be part of the Visa Waiver Program. The VWA requires a valid ESTA each time you enter in the United States.