Do you have any questions? Here we have the answers.

Take a look at the questions below and see if you will find your answers here. If this is not the case, do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly help you with any uncertainties you might have.

What is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated screening program that is used to evaluate possible visitors to the United States prior to their travel. ESTA determines a visitor’s eligibility to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) without a visa. VWP allows citizens from selected countries to stay in the US for up to 90 days without going through the process of obtaining a visa. If you are planning to enter the US through the VWP you must apply for an ESTA.

ESTA is an automated response, and prior to boarding a carrier will electronically verify that you are eligible to travel to the United States. We recommend that you apply as soon as you know you will be travelling, or at least 72 hours before travel, since authorizations can take up to 72 hours to be processed. You may however, choose to apply any time prior to boarding, and responses are usually received within the day of submitting an application.

ESTA is not a visa. If you possess a valid U.S. visa you may travel on that visa and do not need to apply for an ESTA. In the same way that a valid visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S., an approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admission to the U.S.

ESTA became mandatory January 12, 2009. VWP applicants are required to complete a blue Customs declaration upon arrival in the U.S. whether or not they have an ESTA authorization. VWP travelers are no longer required to complete the green I-94W card

Approved ESTA applications are valid for a period of two years, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. An ESTA allows you to stay for up to 90 days at a time – and there should be a reasonable amount of time between visits so that a Custom Border Patrol Officer does not think you are trying to live in the U.S. There is, however, no set requirement for how long you must wait between visits.

If your ESTA application is approved, but your passport expires in less than two years, you will receive an ESTA valid until the passport’s expiration date.

A new ESTA authorization is required if:
You are issued a new passport
You change your name (first and/or last)
You change your gender
Your country of citizenship changes
Your circumstances change, e.g., you are convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or you develop a contagious disease.

What is the difference between an ESTA and a visa?

First of all, an ESTA is not a visa, since it does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements when a visa is needed. Those who possess a valid visa can travel to the United States for the purpose of the visa. Those traveling on valid visas do not need to apply for an ESTA.

Who is required to have an ESTA?

Those traveling under the VWP must have an approved ESTA. Even non-ticketed infants must have an approved ESTA. An application can be submitted by a third party.

Why do I need to fill out an ESTA application if I'm traveling to the US under the VWP?

The “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007” (9/11 Act) amended Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), requiring that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement an electronic travel authorization system and other measures to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA adds another layer of security allowing DHS to determine whether an individual is eligible to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program and if it could pose a law enforcement or security risk.

Does a travel authorization guarantee me admission to the United States?

Even if your ESTA is approved this does not guarantee that you will be admitted to the United States. Once you arrive in the U.S. you will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer at a port of entry, she/he is the only one who can admit you to the U.S. or decide you are not to be admitted.

What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows foreign nationals from certain countries to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure, for stays of up to 90 days without needing a visa. Travelers who want to travel under the VWP must agree to waive their rights to review or appeal.

Do I need to apply if I'm only transiting the United States on the way to another country?

Eligible nationals or citizens of VWP countries require either a travel authorization or a visa to transit in the US. If you are only planning to transit through the United States on the way to another country, when completing your ESTA application, you should select “Yes” to the question “Is your travel to the US occurring in transit to another country?”.

If I have a travel authorization through ESTA, do I need to fill out an I-94W?

With the ESTA program, DHS has eliminated the requirement that VWP travelers complete an I-94W prior to being admitted to the U.S. If you are entering the U.S. under the VWP and have an approved ESTA, then you will no longer be given a green I-94W departure coupon for your passport.

Which countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program?

  • Andorra
  • France
  • Lithuania
  • Slovakia
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • Slovenia
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Monaco
  • South Korea
  • Belgium
  • Hungary
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Brunei
  • Iceland
  • New Zealand
  • Sweden
  • Chile
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Taiwan
  • Denmark
  • Japan
  • Republic of Malta
  • United Kingdom
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • San Marino
  • Finland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Singapore

What are the passport requirements to travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

  • Your passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page.
  • Your passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information.

*Effective July 1, 2009, VWP countries’ emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports.

  • Taiwan passport holders must provide Passport Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

When do I need a visa to travel to the United States instead of an ESTA?

  • If you intend to arrive in the U.S. with a non-signatory air carrier.
  • If you plan on staying in the U.S. for more than 90 days.
  • If you believe any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a) apply to you, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa before traveling to the U.S.
  • If you are not traveling to the U.S. for short-term tourism or business.

Are there any disadvantages when traveling under the Visa Waiver Program?

  • If you are admitted to the United States under the VWP, you cannot change or extend your non-immigrant status.
  • If you are denied admission, you do not have the right to appeal the decision.
  • If you violate the terms of your admission, you do not have the right to review or appeal, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the VWP.

What if a VWP applicant is found to be inadmissible?

If you are determined to be inadmissible when arriving in the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, then you will be denied admission and returned to your country of origin, or a third country from which you have a round-trip ticket, aboard the carrier you arrived in the United States.

What if I have dual citizenship, but my non-VWP passport is expired or I do not have a passport for that country?

If you have additional passports, you must enter the most recent passport information, even if that passport is expired.
If you are a dual citizen but do not have a passport from that country, select the country from the drop down list and leave the Passport Number field blank.

What if I have dual citizenship and/or have a passport from more than one country?

You must have an approved travel authorization for the passport you will be using to travel to the U.S. If you obtain a new passport, you must submit a new travel authorization application for that new passport.

If you have dual citizenship and have registered with ESTA, you should use your ESTA-registered passport. If both your countries of citizenship are VWP-eligible, please choose one passport to register your ESTA with as one person with two different ESTA authorizations creates confusion that could delay your travel.

If you are a citizen of the U.S., and also of a VWP country, do not apply for an ESTA and use your American passport when travelling to the U.S.

Do I need to apply for an ESTA if I am a citizen of a VWP country and...?

I have a valid visitor (B1/B2) visa and am traveling to the U.S. for short-term business or tourism under the VWP?

No, you can travel on your visitor visa.

I do not have a visitor visa and am traveling under the VWP for short-term business or tourism?

Yes.

I do not have a visitor visa but I have another type of visa, for example, a student visa (F1), but am traveling under the VWP for short-term business or tourism?

Yes.

If I am in Canada or Mexico and want to drive to the U.S., do I need to apply for an ESTA?

If you are a citizen of a VWP country and plan to enter the U.S. by land from Mexico or Canada, an ESTA is not required. However, if you do have an approved ESTA you will NOT be required to complete the paper I-94W form and your entry process will be expedited.

Do I need to apply for ESTA if...?

I am a citizen of Canada?

No.

 

I am a Landed Immigrant of Canada?

If you are also a citizen of a VWP country and are entering the U.S. by land, an ESTA is not required. If you plan to travel by air or sea, you DO have to apply for an ESTA. If you are not a citizen of a VWP country, you must have a visa.

 

I am a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. and also a citizen of a VWP country?

No.

 

I am a citizen of a VWP country and am visiting the U.S. from Canada or Mexico?

If you are entering the U.S. by land from Mexico or Canada, an ESTA is not required. If you are arriving by air or sea, you do need to apply for an ESTA.

 

I am a citizen of a VWP country and am traveling to the U.S. by air to transit in the U.S.?

Yes. You must apply for an ESTA. In the address field of the application, write “In Transit.”

 

I have dual citizenship from a VWP country and a non-VWP country?

If you plan to travel with your VWP passport, you need to apply for an ESTA. If you plan to travel with your non-VWP country’s passport, you must apply for a visa through a U.S. embassy or consulate.

 

I am a citizen of a VWP country and am going to Guam or Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)?

For international travel to Guam/CNMI under the VWP, an ESTA is required. Nationalities that are eligible for Guam/CNMI VWP can travel to Guam/CNMI under that program without an ESTA. However, under the Guam/CNMI VWP, the maximum stay is 45 days and stay is restricted to those islands only – travel cannot be to the U.S.

If you are travelling from the U.S. to Guam/CNMI that is considered a domestic flight, so an ESTA is not required. Travelers go through pre-inspection for travel from Guam/CNMI to the United States. If that travel is under VWP, they need an ESTA.

 

I am a citizen of a VWP country and am traveling for short-term business or tourism under the VWP to Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Yes, you must apply for an ESTA to travel to these locations.

 

I am traveling with a minor (child under age 18) who is a citizen of a VWP country?

If the minor is traveling to the U.S. under the VWP as a tourist for up to 90 days, he/she will be required to have an ESTA approval.

 

I am a U.S. Citizen with dual citizenship in a VWP country?

U.S. Citizens are not required to have an ESTA and are required to use their U.S. passport to travel to the U.S.

 

If I have a current and valid visa?

If you possess a valid visa you can travel to the U.S. on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. If you are traveling on a valid visa you will not be required to apply for an ESTA.

Am I eligible to submit an application?

You are eligible if you:

  • Intend to spend 90 days or less in the U.S. for business, pleasure or are just transiting
  • Have a valid VWP passport
  • Arrive via a VWP signatory carrier
  • Have a return or onward ticket
  • Do no end travel in contiguous territory or adjacent islands, unless you are a resident of that area
  • Are a citizen or national of a VWP country listed below:
–   Andorra –   France –   Lithuania –   Slovakia
–   Australia –   Germany –   Luxembourg –   Slovenia
–   Austria –   Greece –   Monaco –   South Korea
–   Belgium –   Hungary –   Netherlands –   Spain
–   Brunei –   Iceland –   New Zealand –   Sweden
–   Chile –   Ireland –   Norway –   Switzerland
–   Czech Republic –   Italy –   Portugal –   Taiwan
–   Denmark –   Japan –   Republic of Malta –   United Kingdom
–   Estonia –   Latvia –   San Marino
–   Finland –   Liechtenstein –   Singapore

How is my data protected and who has access to it?

The information you submit is subject to the same strict privacy provisions and controls established for similar traveler screening programs. Access to the information you provide is limited to those with a professional need to know.

How long is my ESTA valid for?

Your ESTA will be valid for up to two years from the date it was authorized, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Your ESTA authorization is generally valid for multiple trips over the period for which it is valid. This means you do not have to reapply for an ESTA each time you want to travel, as long as the ESTA is still valid and your passport has not expired.

If your ESTA expires while you are in the U.S. this will not affect your departure.

Note: You should PRINT a copy of the document for your records. The printout is not required, since the information is available electronically to the officers, but should be kept for your own records.

An ESTA authorization does not allow you to stay in the U.S. for two years. Your ESTA allows you to travel to the U.S. under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), allowing you to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days. If you are planning to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

*If you obtain a new passport or change your name, gender or country of citizenship,or if the answers to any of the VWP eligibility questions changes you must apply for a new ESTA.

When should I submit an application through ESTA?

We highly recommend that you submit your travel authorization applications at least 72 hours before travel to the United States. Applications can be submitted at any time before you travel to the U.S., this way if you are denied an ESTA you still have time to obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

What if I have dual citizenship, but my non-VWP passport is expired or I do not have a passport for that country?

If you have additional passports, you must enter the most recent passport information, even if that passport is expired.
If you are a dual citizen but do not have a passport from that country, select the country from the drop down list and leave the Passport Number field blank.

How long does the ESTA application process take?

The estimated average time to complete the application is 1 hour.

When will I hear back if I'm approved?

Usually an Application Status will be returned within the hour. If more time is needed to process your application, an answer will be returned within 72 hours. The three possible responses are:

Authorization Approved

You are authorized to travel to the United States under the VWP. This authorization does not guarantee admission to the U.S., as a Customs and Border Protection officer at a port of entry will have the final determination.

Travel Not Authorized

You are not authorized to travel to the United States under the VWP. Should this be the case you could still obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate near you. If you receive a Travel Not Authorized response, this does not mean you have been denied entry to the U.S., but rather that you cannot travel under the VWP.

Authorization Pending

Your travel authorization is under review. This does not mean there have been any negative findings, and you will usually receive a response within 72 hours.

How do I apply for an ESTA?

The ESTA application process is completed online. You do not need to print out any forms or go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In order to complete the online application, you will need to provide basic information including your name, birth date, and passport number, as well as answer questions about any history of convictions, communicable diseases and/or deportations. You can apply by clicking here.

Can you provide guidance and clarification for some of the Eligibility questions?

Diseases

Under United States law communicable diseases of public health significance include:

  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Granuloma inguinale
  • Leprosy, infectious
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Syphilis, infectious stage
  • Active Tuberculosis
  • Physical or Mental Disorders

With regard to physical or mental disorders, answer “Yes” to this question if:

  • You currently have a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or
  • You had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others and the behavior is likely to recur or lead to other harmful behavior.

Answer “No” if:

  • You currently have no physical or mental disorders; or
  • You have or had a physical or mental disorder without associated behavior that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare of that of others; or
  • You currently have a physical or mental disorder with associated behavior, but that behavior has not posed, does not currently pose nor will pose a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or
  • You had a physical or mental disorder with associated behavior that posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others, but that behavior is unlikely to recur.

Drug Abusers and Drug Addicts

Under United States law persons may not be admissible if they have been determined to be a drug abuser or drug addict.

Can I apply for an ESTA without having confirmed travel plans?

Yes. Specific travel plans are not necessary to complete an application, but you will need a U.S. point of contact.

If you are in transit, please select ‘yes’ to the ‘Is your travel to the U.S. occurring in transit to another country?’ question in the Travel Information section.

How do I correct a mistake on my application?

You will be able to review and correct your information before submitting your application. Please make sure that your information is accurate and correct.

If you have submitted your application and realize that you made a mistake on either your passport or biographical information you will need to submit a new application and will be charged for each new application submitted.

Any other mistakes can be corrected or updated by clicking on Contact Us and explaining what information should be changed.

Will my ESTA be denied if I leave a mandatory field blank?

All mandatory fields must be completed before submitting your application.

Why do you need my employer information?

According to Section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act, individuals need to demonstrate that they are not intending immigrants into the United States and qualify for visitor or non-immigrant status. Employment helps to demonstrate eligibility under this legal requirement.

I am traveling on a passport showing an "X" sex marker. How do I complete the ESTA?

ESTA does not currently have a gender “X” to choose from. You should choose whichever you feel most comfortable with. ESTA will not be denied based on gender.

My name contains letters that are not in the American English alphabet. How should I spell my name in the ESTA Application?

Below are some common substitutions in the American English alphabet for unique European letters. You may also refer to the machine readable portion of your passport (with the chevrons <<< >>>) for the universal spelling of your name.

  • ß,ß = ss
  • æ = a e
  • ö = oe
  • ü = ue
  • ë = e
  • ä = ae
  • Å = aa
  • ø = oe
  • ñ = n
  • ? = i j

ESTA won't accept my Post-dated passport or my passport has my old name ?

United Kingdom citizens: If you have applied for a Post-dated passport that will not be valid until after your marriage, you will not be able to apply for ESTA using that passport number until the day of your marriage, when the passport becomes valid.

For travelers from other VWP countries: If you have received approval to come to the U.S., but then change your name as a result of marriage, divorce, or other legal proceeding, you must re-apply for a new ESTA authorization prior to travel.

If you have a passport under one name, but your name has changed since it was issued, you can apply for ESTA using your old passport number and new name. You may also travel with a ticket issued in your new name and the passport in your old name, but we recommend you bring a copy of your marriage license, divorce decree or other legal document showing the connection between your new name and the one on your passport.

What information can I update?

Once an application is approved, you can still update any one of the following fields:

  • Email address
  • Address in the U.S.

What information can I update?

Once an application is approved, you can still update any one of the following fields:

  • Email address
  • Address in the U.S.

How do I retrieve my application?

You can retrieve your application details by clicking here and filling out the relevant information.

What if I forgot my application number?

To retrieve information regarding your application click here. If you do not know your application number, enter your family name, first (given) name, and passport issuing country, in addition to your passport number and date of birth for us to retrieve your ESTA details.

What should I do if my passport information has changed or expired?

If you obtain a new passport or there is a change to your passport information, you must apply for a new ESTA.

What should I do if I'm not approved for travel?

If you receive a Travel Not Authorized response you will need to apply for a visa through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate near you. In the event you are not approved for a travel authorization, no court has jurisdiction to review your eligibility determination under ESTA.

Can I reapply if my application was denied?

If your ESTA is denied and your circumstances have not changed, a new application will also be denied because you are not eligible to travel under the VWP. If you are denied please apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

If you try to reapply by falsifying information you will become permanently ineligible to travel to the U.S. under the VWP.

Do I need to apply for a new ESTA if my current travel authorization will expire while I'm in the United States?

No. Your ESTA only needs to be valid upon arrival in the U.S.

Should you have any additional questions please Contact Us

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