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Eligibility Test
Check if you qualify for ESTA

ESTA Eligibility Test

 

 

New ESTA Application
Apply for a new ESTA

Apply for a New ESTA

 

 

Verify/Update ESTA
Update your existing ESTA

Verify or Update ESTA

 

 

 

Question

Answer

What is a travel authorization for the United States?

The United States now has a travel authorization tool for its Visa Waiver program, in order to ensure visa-free travel is more secure. ESTA (the electronic system for travel authorization) lets nationals of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver program obtain their travel authorization online, in minutes, when they are planning travel to the United States.

 

Question

Answer

Who is required to apply for ESTA?

If you are traveling to the United States as part of the Visa Waiver program and by air or by sea, you will need to apply for a travel authorization through ESTA. Travelers of all ages who have not secured a visa (infants included) should receive an authorization before traveling to the United States. Authorizations can be applied for by a third party on any traveler's behalf.

 

Question

Answer

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

Unfortunately, no. An approved travel authorization signifies that you qualify to travel to the United States as part of the Visa Waiver program, but admission to the United States will be evaluated upon your arrival 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.

 

Question

Answer

Is ESTA the same as a visa?

An ESTA authorization is not a visa merely 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 substituted for a visa in situations where a visa for travel is required.
If you do possess a valid visa for travel to the United States, a travel authorization through ESTA is not required: you can travel legally to and from the United States on that visa.

 

Question

Answer

How long is my ESTA authorization valid?

An ESTA authorization is valid until your passport expires, or until two years after the approval of your authorization—whichever date comes earliest. ESTA authorizations can be revoked, however, in which case they are invalid immediately. To be sure how long your ESTA authorization is valid, check the Authorization Approved screen on your application: your authorization expiration date will be available there.

 

Question

Answer

When do I need to apply for ESTA?

You can apply for ESTA authorization immediately once you know you're going to be traveling to the United States even if you don't know your complete travel plans yet. However, the Department of Homeland Security advises that you submit your application at least 72 hours before traveling, in order to make sure your authorization is available on the date of travel.

 

Question

Answer

How far in advance of a trip is it necessary to apply for travel authorization through ESTA?

You can apply for your ESTA authorization any time before your trip, but it's prudent, according to DHS, to apply no later than 72 hours before you are going to travel. In the vast majority of cases, the ESTA system will confirm or decline your authorization within a minute of receiving your application, but system delays occasionally occur, and should be planned for.
It's all right if you haven't firmed up your plans for travel yet: you can submit an ESTA application without having decided on your itinerary or the address at which you will be staying, and you will not be required to update that information on your ESTA authorization.
ESTA does take applications on-site from last-minute or emergency travelers, but it's best to not have to disembark in the United States without an ESTA authorization.

 

Question

Answer

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

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

 

Question

Answer

Do nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver program require travel authorization if they are only transiting 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 utilize a visa or an ESTA authorization. If you're 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 in your ESTA application.

 VWC  

Visa Waiver Countries

Andorra
Hungary
Iceland
Portugal
Austria
Ireland
San Marino
Belgium
Italy
Brunei
Slovakia
Chile
Latvia
Slovenia
Czech Republic
Liechtenstein
South Korea
Denmark
Lithuania
Estonia
Luxembourg
Finland
Malta
Switzerland
Monaco
Taiwan
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Greece