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Frequently Asked Questions about ESTA
Here are some answers to common questions about ESTA and traveling in the USA under Visa Waiver Program.
Legal Notice: ESTA.us, a privately-owned service provider, specializes in Visa Waiver Program (U.S. travel authorization) and ESTA (U.S. Visa Waiver Program). Our mission is to assist applicants in understanding the Visa Waiver Program and provide information about all aspects of applying for a Travel Authorization (ESTA).
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is an automated system that determines if a citizen of a Visa Waiver Country can travel to the United States to apply for admission. ESTA does not require visas and is only for travel. All of the ESTA application processes can be done online. You don’t need to visit a U.S. consulate or embassy to fill out forms. The Australian ETA application process for tourists who have visited Australia is similar, and many countries now have similar technology and are commonly referred to by E-Visas.
Processing an application can take up to 72 hours. Be patient. If you do not have the time to wait, please email the service provider. Sometimes, if your email address is incorrect, they may not be able to send it to you. You should also ensure that your junk/spam folder is checked.
We don’t have access to ESTA applications submitted to the U.S. government. We cannot correct incorrect passport numbers, misspelled names, or wrong birth dates, retrieve missing ESTA Application Numbers, or confirm applications that have been submitted. If you have any questions, contact the service provider with which you applied, and we will help you get back to them before they start processing your application.
You may have received an email application and found some information incorrect. You can only update the data by submitting a re-application. After you have been approved for an ESTA application, the only fields you can edit are your email address and the location of your stay in the U.S.
It all depends. If you plan to travel to the United States by sea or air, you must apply for ESTA. However, ESTA is unnecessary if you plan to enter the United States by land. You must apply for a U.S visa if you intend to stay in the United States for more than 90 days (60 for Greek citizens) or if you have been denied entry.
No. You can apply for ESTA anytime, provided your passport is machine-readable and valid. To apply for ESTA, passport holders from countries that have recently joined the Visa Waiver Program need an ePassport.
Recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security show that over 99% of all ESTA applications are approved in less than a minute. You must apply for a US visitor visa if your application is denied. This can be a B-2 Tourist Visa at any U.S. Embassy. For more information about applying for U.S visas, please get in touch with us.
A current Travel Authorization will allow you to modify your itinerary. ESTA allows you to update your stay. You may do so here. To apply for a Travel Authorization, you don’t need to make a booking on a flight or at a hotel. Only two fields can be updated on an approved ESTA: the U.S. place of residence and your email address.
Section 217(c), Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), requires DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to improve the Visa Waiver Program security features. ESTA is just one of the many security measures that can be taken.
No. A Travel Authorization is required only for visitors participating in the Visa Waiver Program. It is not a travel requirement. Individuals not eligible for the visa waiver must obtain a visa in advance. You should not apply to ESTA if you have valid U.S. visitor visa.
You should allow 72 hours (3 days) for travel. It is recommended that you apply for a Travel Authorization as soon as possible if you intend to visit the U.S. If you are denied a Travel Authorization, you will need to apply for a visa as a visitor at an American embassy or consulate. Sometimes appointment slots can be challenging to obtain and may take several weeks.
You can, but you need to wait at least ten business days. Your circumstances must also have changed. False information when applying for a Travel Authorization will result in you being permanently barred from visiting the United States. An approved Travel Authorization cannot be obtained from a U.S. consulate or embassy.
No. You don’t need a Travel Authorization if your visa remains valid.
No. Foreigners who travel to the U.S. by air or sea do not need to fill out the Customers and Border Protection Form I-994 Arrival/Departure Record. Electronic travel records now automate the collection of information by CBP. CBP will, however, issue travelers an I-94 paper form at all land entry ports. The I-94 can be applied online for land border crossings.
No. You cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Program if you have been denied a visa.
No. If you have previously been denied admission, you must apply for a visa before attempting to visit the U.S. You must apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy.
It depends on your passport. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible in some cases. Applying is possible. ESTA Travel Authorization can be obtained by individuals who have a passport issued by a Visa Waiver Country. You must apply for a U.S. visa if you don’t have a Visa Waiver Country passport.
Use our website to help you in finding and download the document. Look at our Check/Verify page for your ESTA application. You might have also received it via email. If you don’t see the paper in your inbox, check your “SPAM” or “Junk” folders.
If you need assistance downloading your ESTA application, please email [email protected]
No. You could be charged with a crime under US law if you try to travel under the Visa Waiver Program with false documentation or invalid answers to the questions provided.
Even if you have an approved ESTA, you might still be denied entry to America without a visa refusal. The ESTA, or any other visa, does not guarantee access to the USA. Only the customs and border guards will decide if you can enter or not.
If you make a mistake when filling out the form, you can notably reapply online for an ESTA. If the refusal is due to a simple error in the form, you can get a refund and use the money to pay for the new application.
Your ESTA information will be automatically sent to your carrier. You don’t have to print it out or bring it with you. But it is advisable to always bring documentation with you. To make future trips, you can update your travel information via the ESTA system.
No. An ESTA application is quicker, cheaper, and more accessible than applying for a US visa. An appointment is required to apply for a visa. At the embassy, fingerprints are taken, and an interview will be conducted. You can apply online for an ESTA with the digital application.
Yes. All airlines offering flights to the USA have agreements with the United States government. One of the agreements is that airlines check for valid visas and ESTAs at check-in. You will need your ESTA to board a US-bound flight.
No. Multiple trips to the USA can be made with a single ESTA. If the previous one is valid, applying again for an ESTA is not necessary. This is also true if the travel purpose or accommodation details have changed.
The ESTA can be used for as long as two years from the date it is granted. The ESTA allows citizens from the EU, UK, some Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand to travel unlimitedly to the USA during this time. A stay may not exceed 90 days. In some cases, however, the validity period of the ESTA may expire earlier.