How long is an ESTA valid for?

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How long is an ESTA valid for?

General information on the ESTA system

The ESTA system (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) was implemented as complementary to the VWP program (Visa Waiver Program) which is applicable to 22 European and 5 Asian countries. The ESTA enables citizens from these countries to travel to the United States without a visa. The United Kingdom and Ireland are member countries of this programme. Obligatory since 12 January 2009, the procedure is completed entirely over the Internet and applies to holidays and business visits that do not exceed 90 days. Entry onto American territory by the land borders with Canada and Mexico are not concerned.

Desiring to increase security in American territory and at their airports, the American authorities established a filtering system to be implemented prior to the admission of a visitor onto American territory. Being a citizen of one of these member countries does not offer automatic entitlement to ESTA authorization. They are granted on an individual basis and each ESTA application is subject to the payment of a fee.

In order to avoid any refusal that could inconvenience your visit, it is recommended to applicants that they allow a margin of 72 hours before their departure for the information processing. Those who have their ESTA applications refused are required to contact the American consular service for a visa application.


The validity of an ESTA authorization

An ESTA authorization is valid for a period of two years from its issue date.

If a visitor’s passport expires before the end of this time period then the authorization is no longer valid after the expiry of the passport. Multiple visits are possible with a single ESTA authorization. It should be noted that only biometric, electronic, and optical passports are suitable. Concerning the information that should be entered on the ESTA application form, the last name and first names should be the same as those on the applicant’s passport.

Married women should choose between their maiden name and married name. After approval it is strongly recommended to print the application form and keep two copies. The first for the planned visit and the second to be kept for reference purposes as a future visit will require much of the same information entered on the application form.


The precautions to take when applying for ESTA authorization

Our website is specialised in the assistance and complete service for obtaining ESTA authorization. Click here to access the application form.

Our services include assistance, clear instructions and explanations relating to the form and the verification of the validity of the information supplied. For applicants who wish to complete their form themselves it is recommended they take some time to complete the application form to avoid any mistakes. If a mistake is made in the applicant’s name or passport number then you should directly proceed with a new application.

The other data can be modified using the update function. An ESTA authorization should be renewed in the case of a change of passport or modification of the identification information. All visitors travelling to the United States should hold a return ticket and proof of solvability such as credit cards.


How to travel to the United States when your ESTA is no longer valid?

A previously stated, it is imperative that your ESTA authorisation is valid at the time of your departure for the United States and that your personal information has not changed at that time. If this is not the case or your ESTA has expired then you will simply need to renew it.

But contrary to certain other official documents that arrive at their expiry date such as an identity card, it is not automatically renewed but rather should be seen as a new application. This means that you will need to complete the entire procedure again, completing all the questions on the application form as if it was your first ESTA authorisation application.

You will also need to pay the fees for the transfer and processing of your application again.

Finally, it is important to note that even if your ESTA application was accepted the first time this does not mean that it will automatically be accepted this time. In fact, if your situation has changed or the regulations concerning entry to the United States have been changed then it is possible that the American immigration authorities responsible may decide to refuse your travel authorisation application.