Description of the ESTA System
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), or what it is more commonly known as, Esta visa is a system based on the electronic visa system that provides you information regarding your eligibility for travelling to the US under the special Visa Waiver Program, or VWP.
Basic aim of the Esta visa system is modernization of the previous obsolete method of manually filling up the odd green colored I-94W form, usually termed as the outdated form that served the purpose of a visa waiver, while en route on your outward flight to a selected US destination. While using that particular method, the only way you would know whether the US security had any intention of allowing an entry upon your arrival at a US airport, provided you adequately fitted under their VWP, totally depended on what was put on that promiscuous form by you.
However, with the ESTA system, all travelers to the US now possess the pre-knowledge about their chances of qualifying for an entry into the US. This naturally minimizes every probable loss of money on account of their air travel fares, hotel reservation no-show charges, and a lot more, if you complete your ESTA VISA check prior to bookings any services.
Yet, it’s important to note that your ESTA Visa approval does not necessarily guarantee an entry into the US. You would need to recognize that a successful application for your ESTA does not automatically qualify you for a US entry; it simply establishes the plain fact that you would otherwise be eligible to take a flight. Only a concerned US security officer responsible for border protection at your entry point would have the authority to determine whether you should actually be permitted to enter the country; after deciding you do or do not fit into the criteria of VWP. After all, it’s a question of complete discretion on part of the officer concerned, as well as rules that may then be prevailing.
Though this may outwardly seem like the possibility of an impending nightmare scenario, there is really not much reason to be overly concerned. In real time, there have been extremely rare cases of entry denial to those with an ESTA clearance, unless of course you intentionally chose not to declare some past criminal record, particularly since introduction of the ESTA.