Why does the ESTA Application require Employer Information?

Published on: Feb 25, 2020, Last Edited: May 27, 2020 | Tags: ESTA Application, ESTA Employment Information

Introduction

Employment information is used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to help determine if ESTA applicants are intending to illegally enter the United States to become economic migrants. The specific section related to this law is in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act Section 214b. ESTA applicants are required to provide employment information as evidence of having substantial economic links to their country of residence or citizenship. An ESTA applicant’s employer information acts as proof of fulfilling eligibility to travel as a non-immigrant (or visitor) to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.

Why does the ESTA Application require Employer Information?
Why does the ESTA Application require Employer Information?

What is the intention of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act Section 214b?

The purpose of the law is to ensure applicants provide sufficient evidence to prove they have strong family and economic ties to the country where they reside or country of citizenship. Examples of economic ties include as a job, bank accounts or proof of a mortgage. You may be asked about your family and economic ties to your country of residence or citizenship upon your arrival at the U.S. border. If an applicant intends to visit the U.S. specifically to seek employment opportunities, then they may be in breach of the law. However, visiting the U.S. to attend an employment interview while traveling on an ESTA does not constitute as seeking employment. The relevant eligibility question on the ESTA form related to the law is as follows: “Are you currently seeking employment in the United States or were you previously employed in the United States without prior permission from the U.S. government?”.

Should I provide my employment information on the ESTA application?

Yes, since this information is specifically requested on the application form, applicants should provide their employer details to the best of their knowledge. Deliberately not providing employment information on an ESTA application may affect CBP’s decision. CBP does not judge the merit of any particular type of employment. Being able to show proof of employment is a benefit to applicants to show they do not intend to break U.S. immigration laws.

What employment information is requested?

The information fields required as part of the employment section on the ESTA form are Employer name, Job title, Employer Address (address line 1, line 2, state/province region, city and country). No other information is currently requested on the form such as salary, start date, supervisor name or other details yet CBP may decide to add more fields in the future. Applicants that are retired or not employed will not be required to provide any information under the employment section of the form.

Conclusion

Employment information on the ESTA application is a required field even though applicants can opt to not provide their employer's details. It is advised applicants answer the employment questions on the ESTA application and provide the most accurate and recent details of their employment to not delay the processing of their ESTA nor show intent of potentially violating laws pertaining to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.

If you hold a passport from a visa waiver eligible country and wish to obtain an ESTA for tourist, business, medical or transit purposes, get started on your application, otherwise, visit the FAQ to learn more about the ESTA

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