ESTA is short for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The authorization is an online application that has replaced the tedious tourist visa process with a much simpler process for passport holders from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries. Previously, a USA Visa application was necessary to obtain before visiting the United States of America, and a nearby US Embassy had to be visited as a part of the application process. However, the visa application is now referred to by passport holders in VWP countries as the “USA ESTA application” and is conveniently accessible online from all over the world. To obtain an ESTA, you are required to apply by submitting personal and travel related information through an online processing system. After submission you can expect a response within 24 hours.
Depending on what type of visa you are looking for, please follow any of the steps below:
Check your eligibility
For passport holders of any country
Only citizens of Visa Waiver Countries are allowed to apply for ESTA. It is important to know if you are qualified for ESTA before you submit your online application.
Perform your free ESTA Eligibility Test
ESTA Application Requirements:
You are citizen of a Visa Waiver Country
ESTA Update Requirements:
You are citizen of a Visa Waiver Country
General information about ESTA and Visa Waiver Countries / Visa Waiver Program:
What is the Visa Waiver Country / Visa Waiver Program?
The Visa Waiver Program allows foreign nationals from Visa Waiver Countries to travel to the United States for business or pleasure. Each stay can be up to 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
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ESTA application process and explanation of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization:
How can I apply for ESTA?
You can submit your application for a US travel authorization (ESTA) online. You will have to provide both personal and passport information. Additionally you have to answer several security questions.
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How to pay for ESTA?
All payments for electronic travel authorization applications must be made by credit card. The ESTA system currently accepts the following credit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club). Your application will not be submitted for processing until payment is received.
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Renew and Update your ESTA application, and read what to do if your application has been denied:
How to update and verify your ESTA?
Only certain information related to your travel data can be updated in existing travel authorizations. You can verify and update your ESTA at the same time.
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What to do, if your ESTA application has been denied?
If an ESTA application has been denied, but the traveler still wishes to enter the United States, he/she is required to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a nearby U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
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The information we collect
The only information we will request from you is that which is required for your ESTA application. We will never collect any information you do not actively provide to us, and will not use your information for any purpose other than processing your ESTA application.
Identifying information is information such as your name, passport number, address, or telephone number, which identifies you or is unique to you personally. We will only use this information for the ESTA application process and for the purpose of locating your billing information if it is necessary to refund your application processing fee.
Information you provide
We will not collect any personal, identifying information that you, as our customer, do not willingly and voluntarily provide to us. We will only use the information you provide to us for your ESTA application, in the form you have provided it, including any billing information, responses to inquiries from us, or registration information.
Technical information we collect
Any additional information we collect will not be identifying information. We may collect information on your active web browser or other technical specifications in order to maximize the functionality and ease of use of our website, or to assist in solving any technical problems which arise.
Web beacons and third-party tracking
Our site may include web beacons on specific pages: special tags which send a third party technical information, such as your type of browser, screen resolution, type of device, the time you accessed the page, and third-party cookies you have already allowed access to your computer. The information they send is not personal or identifying, and only used to improve our technical performance and our services.
Sharing of information
The only time we might share your information is if we are legally required to provide some user information or individual access information related to law enforcement agency, court of law, or other government agency in response to their request, subpoena, or court order.
The security of your data
We understand that by handling credit card and identifying information, our customers trust us to ensure the technical security of our data and servers. We use an HTTPS secure socket layer system to protect all data transfers to and from our site.
We also apply the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a rigorous information security standard for businesses who accept major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and Discover online. As part of its best practices, our systems are scanned monthly for data security compliance, and we independently use server monitoring systems to maintain server responsiveness.
Changes to our policy will apply only to any information provided after the alterations go into effect, unless your explicit agreement is requested and obtained. If we are required to use any information provided prior to a policy change in a way that is only permitted under the new policy, we will contact you via email with an explanation of the change and request that agreement, which you may freely accept or decline.
Acceptance of terms
Recognition of privacy laws
What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that websites distribute to your device that act like keys: they store information the website uses to streamline your interaction with the site. Most cookies are nothing more than data that allows the site to recognize your previously stated preferences for how the site displays or tells it what you've already done with the site so you receive up-to-date, pertinent information; others help website operators know how many unique visits each page gets, or collect other usage data that helps them design the best site or service. Cookies are stored in your browser's website data directory as simple text files, not code or programs; they cannot run any procedures on your computer.
To maintain your privacy, a cookie is created with an expiration date: most commonly, the minute you close your browser. These 'session cookies' are only used for your visit to the site, whereas longer-lasting 'persistent cookies' can be used every time you visit the site over a period of months or years.
What are those basic functions?
Our cookies work to make your experience with our site easier by tracking how our site should display in your browser, informing you which pages you have already visited, validating your authentication settings, displaying information for your country and language, and similar functions. Our cookies are created to ensure you only have to enter your site display preferences once, not upon every visit.
What are the site improvement functions?
Making sure our site provides the best service means understanding how our customers use it, and designing with your needs in mind. The data our site improvement cookies collect is looked at by us only in terms of trends - how many people viewed a page for how long, which pages get ignored, what links are clicked on frequently - instead of what any one individual user does. Knowing these trends helps us understand what our customers find useful and important, and helps us design future content to speak directly to what our users want and need.
What are my options when dealing with cookies on this site?
Most internet browsers give you the option to either remove or disable a site's cookies, and that includes the ones we use. If you are accessing our site from a public computer where you do not control the security settings - for example, at a library, Internet café, or school - you may wish to disable cookies, as they will remember your settings on the next visit to our site.
If you are using a private or trusted computer, leaving our cookies active will make sure you do not have to reenter information on your next visit.
Most recent update
We require specific information from our customers to apply for your ESTA travel authorization. If your application is denied for out-of-date or incorrect information, or any other reason, we will refund the processing service fee paid to us as part of our money-back guarantee.
Our service fee refund covers the fees paid to us directly for processing your application, and unfortunately does not cover any third-party fees you may incur, such as credit card company fees or charges from other parties in connection with your payment. As we are a private company unaffiliated with government agencies, we emphasize that decisions on admission into the United States are at the sole discretion of the Customs and Border Protection Office.
Refunds are also paid in U.S. currency, and as per our Terms and Conditions, will utilize an exchange rate set by your credit card company when the refund occurs. As the exchange rates are determined by your card provider, we unfortunately cannot take responsibility for any differences in refund amounts based on exchange rate fluctuations or exchange fees charged by your card provider.
Service fee refunds will be made directly to the credit card account used for the original purchase, in order to protect your security and prevent theft, loss, or fraud.
To request a refund from estausa.com, contact us with the following information:
We will credit your refund to your credit card account within 24 hours, and once you bank has accepted the refund you will see the refund on your statement within 3-5 working days.
If your reason to request a refund is not listed here or in our Terms and Conditions, or if you have any questions regarding refunds, please contact our Customer Service Department.
We are more than happy to hear your comments, answer questions, and receive any feedback you might have. We are committed to customer service, and strive to respond to your messages as soon as possible.
We are reachable by email at email@example.com or by phone at +44 8455280939
What is ESTA?
ESTA is the acronym for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization: an online program administered by Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security to prescreen travelers planning travel of 90 days or less to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program to ensure they do not pose a security or law enforcement risk.
ESTA was implemented on August 1, 2008, to boost the security of the VWP, and has been mandatory for all Visa Waiver Program travelers since January 12, 2009.
How do I apply?
Our website provides simple instructions to make an ESTA application; just answer the questions in our application form.
In order to complete an ESTA application, you will need your passport information; any other names you use; your visa admissions history for the United States; your parents' names; your city of birth; any national identification number you may have; your contact information; your history of communicable disease, if any; your criminal history, if any; and a credit card number.
What does an ESTA authorization do?
An ESTA authorization qualifies you for travel under the Visa Waiver Program, but it does not necessarily mean you will be admitted to the United States. Admission to the United States is based on inspection by a Customs and Border Protection officer once you disembark in the United States, and is at their discretion.
Who is eligible to make an ESTA application?
You are eligible to apply for ESTA if you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country planning to enter the United States by air or sea, on an approved carrier.
The Visa Waiver Program countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Each traveler must have a valid passport and a round-trip ticket, with their trip ending outside the United States. Each traveler must apply, including minor children under 18, and meet all eligibility conditions of the Visa Waiver Program.
Do I need to apply for ESTA if I am a VWP country citizen and...?
...am also a lawful permanent resident of the United States?
...am also a dual citizen with US citizenship?
No - citizens must use their American passport when entering the United States.
...am also a landed immigrant of Canada, and traveling to the United States by land?
...am also a landed immigrant of Canada, and traveling to the United States by sea or air?
...am also a lawful permanent resident of the United States?
If you are flying under your VWP passport and using the VWP, yes. If you are traveling under your non-VWP passport and a visa, you are not eligible for the ESTA.
...have a valid visa at the time of travel?
...am traveling to the United States by land via Canada or Mexico, under a green I-94 card?
...am traveling to the United States by sea or air via Canada or Mexico?
...am transiting through the United States only, and not staying there?
...am a minor under the age of 18 traveling under the VWP?
...am traveling for a short-term stay to the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico?
When should I submit my ESTA application?
It is recommended to make your application as soon as you decide to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, but one can apply up to 72 hours before travel. There is no need to wait until your itinerary is confirmed: You do not need concrete travel information or accommodations to apply.
There is no penalty if you apply early and your ESTA expires while you are still in the United States: You can still depart for your country of origin as planned.
Does ESTA allow group applications?
It is easy to group your applications: After submitting your application, select the option to submit a new application on the thank-you page and fill out the new application for the next applicant.
Can I correct errors in my ESTA application information?
Only certain errors in ESTA applications can be corrected: your email address, your phone number, and your travel information. In the case of an error in passport-related information, you must cancel and reapply, so it is best to be precise when filling out the application form.
What is the validity period of an ESTA application?
An ESTA authorization is valid until your passport expires or for two years from the date when you are approved to travel, whichever date is earlier.
What if my ESTA authorization is not approved?
If your application is denied, you can still travel to the United States under a visa program. Apply through your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for details.
Is an ESTA authorization valid for multiple trips to the United States?
A valid ESTA authorization permits you unlimited entries into the United States.
Do I need to reapply if I acquired my ESTA authorization before additional information was required in 2014?
No; all current ESTA authorizations are still valid. You will only be required to supply the additional information if you reapply when that current authorization expires.
What is the response time on an ESTA application?
In most cases, ESTA results are available almost instantly, and you will receive our email informing you of the status inside 24 hours. However, it can take up to 72 hours to receive a status determination and email it to your inbox.
If I forget my application number, what do I do?
Just send an application through our Verify/Check ESTA Status page, and your ESTA number will be sent to the email address associated with your application.
Can one person make an ESTA application for another? Can I apply for friends or relatives, or have them apply for me?
ESTA permits third-party applications, but the person traveling is ultimately responsible for the truthfulness and completeness of any information provided on the ESTA application.
When traveling to the United States, what ESTA documents should I bring?
On the day of travel, print out the PDF with your ESTA number and carry it with your other travel documents. While United States border officials can electronically access your ESTA approval, your airline or carrier may require the printout at check-in.
When should I reapply for a new ESTA authorization?
You should submit a new application if your ESTA authorization expires and you wish to travel to the United States. Unfortunately, ESTA authorizations cannot be directly renewed at this time. Otherwise, apply for a new ESTA authorization if you:
As accessing our website is an acceptance of the following terms, please read our terms and conditions carefully before using our services.
Who we are
Estausa.com is a private company, unaffiliated with any government agency, which specializes in reviewing and processing applications for the Electronic System for Travel authorization for travelers interested in visiting the United States.
Our processing service
Travelers who wish to enter the United States by air or sea under the Visa Waiver Program must first obtain an approved travel authorization in advance. The ESTA process asks you to answer a series of questions regarding your passport details, travel history, and the trip you are planning. Our service asks the questions necessary to review and process your ESTA application.
We help prevent issues with your ESTA application by screening for potential problems and contacting you to verify and confirm information before submitting it for approval, and only submitting applications we judge to be valid. Most applicants will receive an emailed notice of approval from our service inside 24 hours, although the process can require as long as 72 hours.
For this reason, it is recommended to apply as soon as you know you are going to travel. You can apply for ESTA before finalizing a travel itinerary, as approved applications can be updated with destination information any time before departure.
If our internal review deems that your application will not succeed, we will apply your money-back guarantee and refund your service fees before any submission to the ESTA process, saving you the processing fees ESTA charges for all applications. You will still have the option to submit your own application independently or through a different private company. However, only the United States government can ultimately approve or disapprove an ESTA application.
If your application is denied
In the event your ESTA application is denied, we will issue a full refund of our service charges to your credit card account and advise you to apply for a B-2 non-immigrant visitor visa at your closest United States Embassy or Consulate.
In the occasional case where the United States government rescinds approval to an ESTA travel application, however, we are unable to issue a refund, and strongly counsel you to verify your ESTA approval status before checking in for or reserving a flight to the United States.
Our site content
The information we provide is derived from a mix of our professional experience and publicly available information on ESTA and the Visa Waiver Program. While we make great efforts to ensure the information we delivery to you is current, accurate, and complete, ESTA is an evolving program, and errors or omissions may occur. We counsel you to treat our content as general program information and not legal or binding counsel, and verify the accuracy of any information if you are unsure.
The external links we provide are designed to supply additional information on either our services or those that can ease your visit to the United States. Our links to third-party sites does not constitute our approval of, endorsement of, or responsibility for any services, products, or content on linked sites, including any consequences of your use of them.
Your passport and visa documentation
It is your responsibility to ensure your passports, visas, and travel requirements are current and correct before planning a visit to the United States, and we cannot be held liable for any denial of boarding due to incorrect or incomplete documents.
Ownership of site content
Our content is licensed for personal, non-commercial use only. You are free to download our materials to a personal computer or print them for your personal use, so long as the copyrights, trademarks, and proprietary notices attached remain unchanged. Commercial use, translation, or redistribution of our content is prohibited.
Currency of transactions
We unfortunately only accept transactions in United States dollars. While your bank, credit card company, or other payment provider will provide an exchange rate when paying with a card based in a non-U.S. currency, we unfortunately cannot control or compensate for the exchange rate they set, or any foreign transaction fees charged by your financial institution for our services, even if they are included in the purchase on your credit card statement.
For further information about foreign exchange fees, exchange rates, and how fees are listed on your credit card statement, please contact a customer service representative at your financial institution.
Website access and licenses
We grant a limited license to access our site, specifically for personal use. What that means:
All content contained on our site is the property of estausa.com and falls under both international and national copyright laws in any country where our services are offered. Content includes all text, graphics, page elements, forms, stored data, media files, and associated software; both individual site elements and files and the entirety of the site. All software used is proprietary to estausa.com or our suppliers, and protected by copyright law.
By visiting our site and engaging in electronic communications with our company, you consent to communication by the same electronic means, and agree that those electronic communications shall be considered by both parties to satisfy any legal requirements for communications to be in writing. This consent will cover notifications, disclosures, statements of consent, or agreements.
We reserve the right to communicate with you via email or proprietary site functions designed for communication, and to not engage in or respond to communication by other means.
If you do not respond to communications with us regarding our services within two days, we will proceed with the information you have provided to us or cancel your application service in the event we cannot proceed.
If you wish to discontinue communications from us, please contact us via e-mail. However, we cannot be held responsible for any loss of data regarding the ESTA process if you choose to discontinue communications.
Terminating our services
We reserve the right to discontinue our provision of service and/or cancel your application at any time and for any reason, including use of this website for illegal purposes or in an improper manner, provision of false or misleading information, or any other contravention of our terms and conditions. Upon cancellation we will terminate any services provided, access to all or part of our website, and your registration at our site.
Information for answering ESTA inquiries
Answer 'yes' to the question regarding mental or physical disorders if:
Updates to our Terms and Conditions
We reserve the right to update, alter, or make changes to these Terms and Conditions without prior notice in order to reflect updates to our services, our security, or to comply with legal requirements. Please regularly review our Terms, as continued use of the site and our services signifies an acceptance of these amended Terms.
Last Updated: May 1, 2015