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Eligibility Test

Check if you qualify for ESTA

ESTA Eligibility Test  ESTA USA Button

Check your eligibility
(For passport holders of any country)

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New ESTA Application

Apply for a new ESTA

Apply for a New ESTA  ESTA USA Button

ESTA Application Requirements:
You are citizen of a Visa Waiver Country

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Verify/Update ESTA

Update your existing ESTA

Verify or Update ESTA  ESTA USA Button

ESTA Update Requirements:
You are citizen of a Visa Waiver Country


What is a Travel Authorization for the United States?

To ensure that visa-free travel is more secure, the United States has produced a travel authorization tool for its Visa Waiver program. ESTA (the electronic system for travel authorization) allows nationals of countries participating in the Visa Waiver program to get their US travel authorization online, in a few minutes.

Who is required to apply for ESTA?

If you are traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver program (by air or by sea), you must apply for a travel authorization through ESTA. Travelers of all ages who have not secured a visa (infants included) must receive an authorization before traveling to the United States. The ESTA system can be used by a third party to apply for an authorization on behalf of a traveler.

Does an approved travel authorization guarantee admission to the United States?

No, an approved travel authorization does not guarantee admission into the United States. An approved travel authorization means that you qualify to travel to the United States as part of the Visa Waiver program; however, your admission will depend on an evaluation performed by a Customs and Border Protection officer. Based on their inspection, there may be a reason to deny you admission to the United States either under the provisions of the Visa Waiver program or the laws of the United States.

Is an ESTA the same as a visa?

An ESTA authorization is not a visa; it is only a preclearance to travel under the Visa Waiver program, which is designed to allow travelers to bypass the visa process. An ESTA authorization is not equivalent to a United States visa, and cannot be used as such when a travel visa is required. If you do possess a valid visa for travel to the United States, then a travel authorization through ESTA is not required: you can travel legally to and from the United States on that visa.

How long is my ESTA authorization valid?

An ESTA authorization is valid until the earliest of these two dates: 1) your passport expiration date, or 2) two years after your travel authorization approval. An ESTA authorization can be revoked, however, in which case it immediately becomes invalid. To find out your ESTA authorization expiration date, check the Authorization Approved screen on your application.

When do I need to apply for ESTA?

You can apply for ESTA authorization as soon as you decide to travel to the United States; you can do so even if your travel plans are not finalized. However, the Department of Homeland Security advises that you submit your application at least 72 hours before traveling, to make sure that your authorization is ready on the date of travel.

How far in advance should I apply for an ESTA travel authorization?

You can apply for your ESTA authorization at any time before your trip, but DHS recommends applying no later than 72 hours before departure. In the vast majority of cases, the ESTA system will confirm or decline your authorization within a minute of receiving your application. Keep in mind that system delays occasionally happen, so it is recommended that you give yourself extra time when submitting your application. Your travel plans do not need to be final before you apply. You can submit an ESTA application without knowing your itinerary or the exact address where you will be staying; you can update that information on your ESTA authorization later.

Can travelers to the US apply for ESTA without specific travel plans?

Yes, you can. If you are traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver program, but do not yet know the address where you will be staying, simply enter the hotel name or the approximate location of your destination in the United States. You can (but are not required) to update that information in the ESTA system when your authorization comes through.

Do nationals or citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver program require travel authorization when in transit through the United States en route to another country?

If you are a national of a country that is part of the Visa Waiver program and transiting through the United States, you will need to either have a visa or an ESTA authorization. If you are only transiting through the United States, and not staying, enter 'In Transit' and your ultimate destination in the 'Address While in the United States' field of your ESTA application.



Visa Waiver Countries

San Marino
Czech Republic
South Korea
United Kingdom