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When applying for an ESTA

Advice from our friends at e-Visa.
July 2021

The best destinations to celebrate Pride in North America

Have you been celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride festivals in the UK such as London, Manchester and Brighton for years? What would it be like to combine one of the best parties of the year with a holiday? In this article we list some of the world's best cities to celebrate Pride. Bear in mind that these destinations require a visa or other travel authorisation.

Canada: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Toronto's Pride is one of the largest events in North America with street festivals, a parade, exhibitions and other cultural activities. This is most evident in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, where there are many bars, cafes and shops. The event takes place throughout the month of June. This year, because of coronavirus measures, only a virtual version was held, but those who want to experience LGBTQ+ Pride in Toronto next year can mark the month of June in their agenda.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shows his support
for LGBTQ+ Canadians

Besides Toronto, other cities in Canada are also worth visiting. In 2020, Spartacus magazine voted the country most LGBTQ+-friendly holiday destination in the world. The cities of Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa also have an active LGBT community. To visit Toronto Pride, you need an eTA Canada. The eTA is the electronic travel authorisation for Canada that can be easily applied for online, and is granted within three days. With an eTA, you can stay in Canada for no less than six consecutive months. So you have enough time to visit Pride in Vancouver or Montreal which take place in August.

USA: San Francisco, LA and New York

San Francisco is the place in America to celebrate Pride. The event has been going on since 1970 and in 2020 the 50th edition was held. The parade is held every year at the end of June. Performances and parties take place throughout the city, but the centre of the festivities is in the Castro and Soma districts. Another hot spot in California is Los Angeles. LA Pride also takes place annually in June and can therefore be combined with San Francisco Pride.

Those planning to visit the San Francisco Pride or other US cities can already apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). The ESTA is a travel authorisation (comparable to the eTA Canada) which also has to be applied for online. With an ESTA you can stay in America for 90 days at a time. This makes it possible to visit several cities. Those who have several weeks to spare can even make a road trip from the west coast to the east coast to experience New York’s Pride.

Entry restrictions and consequences for the eTA and ESTA

Bear in mind that there are currently entry restrictions in place in both Canada and the US. Because of the coronavirus, European tourists are not allowed to enter for the time being. The entry ban for Canada will remain in place until at least September, the entry ban for America until further notice. However, despite the travel restrictions, ESTA and eTA applications can still be submitted. As was the case before the coronavirus pandemic, applications are processed within three days, without delays. As the travel authorisations are valid for a relatively long period of time (eTA five years, ESTA two years), you can already apply for one for a trip later this year or next year. When applying, you do not yet need to know on what day you will arrive in Canada or the US. Once the eTA or ESTA has been approved, you may decide on your own day of arrival, as long as it is within the validity period.

You can apply to the e-Visa site for a smoother ESTA / eTA application experience than directly to the US government site:
Why it’s better to use e-Visa when applying for an ESTA

We offer an automated and manual checking of all applications to ensure they are free of errors.

These checks don't exist on the official government site, if you submit a faulty application the money is lost and you have to start anew.

For example, for a small fee of £29.95 for the US ESTA (including the basic ESTA price), if we find an error, we will contact you right away to make sure your application will go through.

Benefits include:
  • Full refund policy for rejected applications. This also means that the pressure is on us to properly submit applications to the relevant authorities.
  • 24/7 customer service to resolve any issues, including during weekend and on holidays.
  • By applying through us you pay a little extra for a faster and more comfortable application procedure. You never have to worry about errors in your applications, because we will always contact you.
  • We also have the Trusted Shops Guarantee label, which means our company was audited for quality and reliability.

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