Are you planning to visit the United States? Here are 11 tips for your trip.

Preparations for a trip to the United States can be very exciting! It is useful to familiarize yourself with certain local customs. The following tips will make you discover some very common American habit that may not be familiar to all visitors, especially beginners.

The United States is among the favorite destinations of visitors from all corners of the planet. Last year, more than 65 million people visited the country. American culture is known throughout the world thanks to its industries of cinema, television and music. Some common American habits, however, are very different from what we know, and especially from what we are accustomed to in our country of origin.

1. Make sure you get an ESTA

Most visitors can enter the United States with an electronic travel authorization. If you are planning a trip of less than 90 days, whether it is a leisure trip, a business trip or a simple transit trip, an official visa is not required if your country of citizenship is included in the program of travel, Exemption from visa requirements.

The procedure costs $ 74.00, payable by credit card or Paypal, and is entirely done online.

Although it is generally advisable to make your request 3 days before your departure, we suggest you to ask for your ESTA before booking your flight and / or your hotel.

An ESTA is valid for 2 years from the date of issue and allows multiple entries. ESTA simplifies your travel and paperwork when you arrive in the United States.

2. Your final bill is higher than the posted price

American prices of goods and food are on average all Made reasonable. Especially when compared with those in the euro area. One of the things that might surprise you is that the price you see on labels and menus is not the final price you will have to pay. The price generally does not include sales taxes (on average 7%, varies according to the states). In many restaurants, you will not only have to consider the sales tax, but also a minimum of 15% for gratuities.

3. Humor is not appreciated at airport security check

While a joke may seem like a good way to alleviate tension during your airport security check, you are likely to get very serious problems. The security guards at the airport are courteous but take their duties very seriously. Any threatening joke or suspicious attitude can lead to an in-depth security check.

Never refer to a bomb, a weapon, or anything dangerous. Never, even in a sarcastic tone.

For an easy security check, we recommend that you keep your humor to yourself and respond simply and frankly to any questions you may be asked by a security or immigration officer.

For more information on security checking when you arrive in the US, see this section.

4. Have some cash available for tips

We know how frustrating it can be to have to give dollar bills to the taxi driver rather than the concierge of the hotel. But as the saying goes, in Rome do as the Romans do! This is also true in the United States. Many service industry workers rely on tipping for most of their income, and so it is standard for any service provider. Many restaurants, especially in tourist centers, automatically add up to 18% tip to the bill. Warnings are often found at the bottom of a restaurant’s menu, so be sure to check! Included tip is also displayed on your bill. If the service is exceptional, it is sometimes advisable to add an extra tip to the one already included, but it is not mandatory.

Even though in the United States the most common way to pay is by credit card (even for reduced amounts), to say “thank you” with a small tip we suggest you have some dollar bills within range Of hand.

5 Même «en transit», les passagers doivent faire les formalités douanières et l’immigration

Si vous partez en provenance d’Europe ou d’Asie dans une île exotique dans les Caraïbes ou en Argentine, il est probable que votre vol fera une escale aux Etats-Unis. Miami, par exemple, est le Hub des vols pour l’Amérique Latine. Si c’est votre cas, vous êtes ce que l’on appelle un voyageur «en transit». Mais ne vous y fiez pas, contrairement à la plupart des autres endroits, les autorités américaines vous accueilleront comme tout autre visiteur. Vous devrez passer la douane et l’immigration avant d’embarquer votre prochain vol vers votre destination finale. Nous vous suggérons de faire en sorte d’avoir une escale d’au moins 2 heures avant votre prochain vol, et même lorsque vous êtes en transit, vous devez obtenir une autorisation ESTA avant l’embarquement.

6 À quoi s’attendre lors du contrôle de sécurité


Pendant le contrôle de sécurité avant d’approcher la porte d’embarquement, vous devrez:

  • Enlever vos chaussures et les placer dans le scanneur a rayons X
  • Retirer votre ordinateur portable, tablette ou tout autre appareil électronique de votre sac et le faire scanner séparément
  • Allumer vos appareils électronique si l’agent vous le demande. Assurez-vous que vos appareils aient une charge suffisante.
  • Passez par un scanneur corporel. Les voyageurs nationaux et internationaux sont soumis à ce contrôle.

Bien que ce dernier point ait soulevé des questions d’atteinte à l’intimité, il permet des contrôles beaucoup plus rapides. Si vous avez des problèmes de santé, informez à l’agent avant de passer par le scanneur corporel. Si vous refusez (ou ne pouvez pas) le scanneur vous serez l’objet d’une fouille corporelle en général superficielle mais parfois plus poussée. En cas de refus vous ne pourrez pas aborder votre vol. Nous vous recommandons d’accepter le scanneur.

7 Consultez les écrans de départs


Votre vol ne sera annoncé qu’à la porte d’embarquement. Compte tenu de la taille d’un aéroport américain moyen, vous ne pouvez pas être en mesure d’entendre l’appel (qui se fera seulement à la porte d’embarquement) si vous êtes dans un bar, restaurant ou magasin. Donc, vérifiez l’heure d’embarquement à l’écran, notez-le sur votre carte d’embarquement, et n’oubliez pas de vous rendre à la porte d’embarquement à l’heure.

8. Les préoccupations concernant la sécurité de votre bagage? Un cadenas TSA peut aider


Contrairement à d’autres pays, la TSA (agence de sécurité des transports des USA) a interdit les verrous sur les bagages. Cela leur permet d’ouvrir des valises au hasard ou si des soupçons se posent. Si vous êtes préoccupé par la sécurité de vos biens personnels, vous pouvez toujours utiliser un cadenas approuvé par la TSA qui s’ouvre grâce à une combinaison unique Il y a beaucoup de bagages sur le marché qui comprennent une serrure TSA.

Cette option, tout comme l’autorisation de Voyage ESTA, a été mise en œuvre pour accélérer les contrôles d’immigration et de sécurité.

9. les tarifs téléphoniques internationaux sont élevés


La majorité des entreprises et des hôtels aux Etats-Unis propose le WiFi gratuitement à leurs clients. En règle générale, il est judicieux de l’utiliser lorsque votre téléphone est allumé. Comme dans tout pays étranger, en utilisant votre téléphone à l’étranger peut entraîner des factures désagréables quand vous rentrez à la maison. Certains hôtels peuvent facturer pour l’utilisation de leur réseau WiFi.

 

10. COMMENT VISITER PLUSIEURS VILLES?

Si vous allez voyager aux États-Unis, nous vous recommandons d’éviter les bus. L’Amérique est géographiquement grande, de sorte que les distances à parcourir sont excessives. Les bus sont lents et inconfortables. Les meilleurs choix incluent des vols bien réservés à l’avance (le prix est généralement très accessible), ou la location d’une voiture. La location de voiture peut être peu coûteuse si vous réservez à l’avance. Vous pouvez par le biais des sites Web de voyage en ligne louer une voiture à partir de 15 $ par jour. Les autorités américaines acceptent votre permis de conduire national (avec quelques exceptions) pendant que vous êtes dans le pays en tant que touriste.

11. ASSURANCE VOYAGE

Rappelez-vous que l’assurance médicale de votre pays ne fonctionne pas aux Etats-Unis. Si quelque chose devait arriver, vous seriez responsables du cout total et les frais médicaux aux États-Unis peuvent être très coûteux. Nous vous conseillons d’évaluer la possibilité d’acheter une assurance Voyage qui couvrira votre santé, vos baggages et votre voiture de location en cas d’urgence.

The new ESTA online form

For new applications or renewals

If I have already obtained an ESTA permit, do I need to apply for an updated license with the new online form?

Due to recent events in the world, such as the Ebola epidemic or the increase in terrorist threats in the Middle East, US immigration authorities have added a new online form for the ‘ESTA. This new form is required for new ESTA applications.

In fact, previously approved ESTA permits are valid until they expire.

When they perish, the traveler must apply for a new ESTA using the new online form.

So if you have a valid ESTA permit (granted for less than two years and associated with a valid passport) you can travel without worry in the US without any problems.

Esta-formulaire.us keeps you up-to-date on your trip to the US with useful and practical tips and answers your questions 24 hours a day if necessary.

Have a nice trip!

New security measures for travel to United States

In an effort to provide a safe and secure travel to the United States in July 2016 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced new enhanced security measures for travelling to the country. In a continuing effort to make international flights less risky electronic devices with low battery or no power will not be permitted on flights departing from Europe, Africa and the Middle East (or what the US authorities like to call ‘overseas’) to the United States.

You might wonder why? In fact all electronic devices concerned, from laptops, tablets, smartphones of any kind to more specific cases like iPhones from Apple and Samsung Galaxy are not considered entirely secure onboard a US inbound flight until they have been inspected while turned on. By now you are probably used to electronics being checked at airports, but this time if you forget to charge your batteries you might have to miss your flight. Be prepared and charge all your electronic devices before you leave or purchase an external USB-type battery as a backup on the go.

This new security measure takes into consideration that unfortunately, in this day and age electronics could might be diverted and used to activate bombs. By checking the battery of a fully functioning device the security agents can be sure that it has not been replaced by an explosive. If you’re prepared for the situation any additional check will go quickly and smoothly.
It is for your safety and convenience as well to remember that when it comes to security measures it is best to know what to expect at the airport. If you already have your approved ESTA and your ticket to the US make a checklist:

  • Load ALL electronic devices you are taking for the trip.
  • Give yourself enough time at the airport to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Store all chargers together with the respective devices.

In case your electronic device is out of power you might have to leave it at the airport or else you might lose your flight.
The US Customs and Border Patrol is also making background checks for travelers to the US more detailed – it has added some new questions to the online ESTA application asking you to provide: Other Names/Aliases or Other Citizenships, Parents name(s), National Identification Number (if applicable), Contact information (email, phone, points of contact), Employment information (if applicable), City of Birth, Previous travels and countries visited. In that respect note that since the beginning of 2016, the criteria for issuing electronic visas have become more detailed and they concern all those who have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen. It only means that you cannot enter the United States with an electronic visa. You could get your visa from the embassy or consulate.

Keep also in mind that security measures get updated all the time, depending on your point of departure even if you are a holder of a VWP participating country passport: in March 2017 DHS placed a ban all larger electronic devices onboard non-stop flights to the US originating in eight Middle Eastern countries and not only, including Turkey, Morocco and South Africa.
Plan your itinerary carefully if you want to avoid unnecessary delays and complications.

Do I need flight details and / or address to apply?

No! The ESTA application form does not request information on your flight details. In fact it is better to apply for your travel authorization before booking your flight and making other travel arrangements, so you have time to react in the unlikely event that there is a delay in processing your information. Besides, you can always add or modify your travel details, even after receiving an approved ESTA. Let’s say that you have found tickets at a better price or a better hotel offer. Or you want to change your itinerary and visit one more city. Also, an approved ESTA is valid for up to two years and for multiple trips. In case you want to profit from it more than once, you can either modify the point of contact at the United States or you can leave it untouched.

We will be happy to update this information for you, simply write us an e-mail via the contact form here.

 

Please note that if you need to change some of the information already existing in the ESTA Authorization do not hesitate to contact us on info@esta-formulaire.us. We will modify all details without additionally charging your credit card.

These include important data such as names, passport number, and date of birth. It is best to double and triple check these before you submit the online form to make sure that the details you have entered match letter for letter and number for number the details on your passport. A good old trick is to reread everything from right to left – that way our eyes do not run over the combinations of letters we are familiar with. If you notice even a typo on your issued document, do not hesitate to contact us on info@esta-formulaire.us. Our service support agent will modify the information needed without additionally charging your credit card. This is also the case if during the two year period of validity of the travel authorization any of the essential information about you changes. If you are issued a new passport, have a new or additional name or become a citizen of a different country as well as if any of the answers to the Visa Waiver Program requirements are different than first stated, please contact us! Remember, once a new travel authorization is issued, the old one will be canceled.

 

Make sure you respect the conditions for traveling on an ESTA each time you visit the USA – you can make multiple trips to the country and stay for up to 3 months each time, for a total of 180 days per year. However if while you’re in the USA you make a short trip to Mexico or Canada you do not get an additional 90 days. You can travel for tourism, independent research, negotiations. You can participate in professional conventions, conferences and seminars.  Commercial business is also fine, provided you do not intend to make profit on US soil. Disrespecting these rules can create unnecessary complications with the US Customs and Border Protection officer during a future trip.

Thinking of migrating to the United States? A few tips…

A growing number of French want to settle in the USA in the hope of a better situation. Finding a job, having a bigger salary, paying much less tax than in France. There are no motivations.

However, it can be complicated to get out of the country, because in most cases you have to go through the process yourself. But where to start ? What information is required to successfully install? What are the first steps?

Several questions come to mind when a person wishes to leave in the United States. Is it even a possibility? Or a fantasy?

The first step is to do an online search. Internet is a mine of information. Then, a tour with the local bookseller will allow to deepen this first research: books, CDs, videos … it is not the sources of information that are missing. But you will agree: too much information can lead to paralysis. In addition, we must ensure that these sources are current.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • If I bring my belongings with me, how far in advance should I prepare the transport with a mover?
  • Have to be in good health, or at least have medical insurance that can follow me?
  • How can I get coverage in the United States?
  • What type of visa do I need? Does ESTA program cover expatriation, or only short stays? And how long before my departure do I have to apply for a visa?
  • If I owe my spouse who is transferred to the US for his job, do I have to resign from my own job? Or are there other possibilities, such as leave without pay, sabatic years, etc.?
  • If we have children, what are the steps to follow for school enrollments?
  • For French students, what are the most suitable choices in terms of schooling?
  • How long before you get a visa?
  • Do I have to notify the French tax authorities?
  • Are pets accepted without quarantine?
  • To find accommodation, do I have to go through agencies? Does it take a long time to find suitable accommodation?Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself before moving to the United States. Have a nice trip !

Find an internship in the United States – Part 1

Many French students are looking for work in the USA, especially during the summer period.

It is now more complicated to secure a seasonal job – that is, a summer internship – especially since the application of new rules in recent years. All the more so as the American economic situation hampers hiring, especially when it comes to foreign labor.

In this new context, how to successfully find the right internship?

First, make sure you make the choice that’s right for you. Take the time to define what you want:

  • What kind of business do I want to integrate?
  • An American or European company?
  • In what domain or industry?
  • What position do I want to take?
  • Am I willing to work without pay?
  • How long do I want to stay in the USA?
  • In which city (s)?

To say that “I wish to leave 4 months in Miami” is not concrete, and you risk being very disappointed. The more
precise you are, the more successful you will be. All the more so because the good internship can bring you very
far, even see the offer of a stable job in the long term, which could allow you to expatriate yourself.

Find an internship in the United States – Part 2

First part of the article available here .

To do a summer internship in the United States, why not create it yourself! Do not be afraid to make your own move and solicit US companies directly. Especially if you wish to do an internship within a particular company, even if it has not announced to offer internships. Take the initiative, contact the company by describing your skills and how you can contribute.

Do not be discouraged if the internship is not paid. Getting an internship could lead to other things, networking, meeting new people, learning about American culture, highlighting your abilities and how society can benefit from it. It is also an opportunity to transform the internship into a permanent job. Especially since several internships give an envelope of 2,000 euros on average to compensate for the lack of remuneration and cover some of your expenses during your stay in the USA.

After having determined your criteria in terms of internship, carry out a search on the Internet to identify the hiring sites. These recruitment companies are often specialized in summer courses for students. Make a list of companies that are in phases with your criteria. Also check out the press to familiarize yourself with each of these companies. This will allow you to better write your CV and cover letter (in US). To have positive feedback, it is imperative to write personalized letters and addressed to each of the companies that you target … to send hundreds of standard letters will give no result.

Send your “cover letter” and “resume” (CV) by email directly to the recruitment manager, or at least to the person who will be your line manager. Often it is easy to find the names of these people. The follow-up will be indispensable, this will demonstrate your motivation, and at the same time will certainly make your file in the “short list” of the best candidates.

Send a thank you letter – called “thank you note” to the US – after being contacted by one of your target companies, can make all the difference. It is a cultural rule, you will be a good lead over the other candidates if you apply it systematically.

Finally, find out about the type of visa required for hiring as part of an internship. Often companies that recruit are not necessarily aware of the latest US rules. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program can be useful for a stay of Short, but it is necessary to check with the American authorities to see the evolutions of this program.

So much for our advice, good luck in your internship search!