The ESTA form system allows citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to apply for a US travel authorization. The VWP allows travelers who hold an approved ESTA to visit the United States for tourism, business, medical or short-term study programs for up to 90 days. ESTA is not a US visa. If you are a French citizen and your ESTA form is not approved, you are required to apply for a B-1 or a B-2 visa at the US Embassy.
France is one of the oldest allies of the United States, and Paris has been a popular destination for American expatriates for many years. France joined the VWP in October 1989, together with other European countries. It has become easier for French nationals to visit the United States by joining the VWP. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was introduced in 2008 and became mandatory in 2009, and it is still a requirement today for French nationals. The ESTA application system allows travelers to apply electronically instead of visiting the embassy (or consulate) to apply for a visa. Between October 2013 and October 2014, 1,940,779 French nationals visited the United States using the Visa Waiver Program.
French passport holders who are planning to travel to the USA may complete the ESTA form. The ESTA form-processing time may take up to 72 hours. It is recommended to complete the form online at least 72 hours before departure. Confirmed applications are valid for two years, and travelers must fly with a signatory carrier. Air France is a well-known signatory carrier.
Airlines (Signatory Carriers) in France:
French Cruises (Signatory Carriers):
The US Embassy and Consulates in France: