Why is the ESTA authorisation payable?
Let us first look at a question that many people ask; why is this authorisation payable? Indeed, it could be expected that this application could be free as the procedure is entirely electronic and completed online and therefore no paper or human work is required.
Although it is true that the ESTA is easily accessible and as a new generation authorisation it is completed entirely online, it is still normal that fees are applied as the American Immigration system costs money to operate. This is also applicable when you apply for a visa; the fees consist of administrative costs that vary according to your home country.
All visitors are required to apply, even minors. The ESTA is not a visa but a complementary control tool to facilitate the work of immigration officers with the interception of dangerous travellers. Once granted, a travel authorisation to the United States is valid for two years or at the expiry of the passport if the latter expires before this time. The ESTA is obligatory even for transitory visits.
How much does it cost for an ESTA authorisation for citizens of the United Kingdom or Ireland?
If you are from the United Kingdom and you plan to visit the United States sometime over the coming months then the price of your ESTA application will be $14 on the official American government website and varies between €20 and €60 per visitor if you use a website that offers a full ESTA application service including customer assistance and data correction. The payment of this fee is completed online, directly on the website where you submit your authorisation application, using the authorised methods of payment such as credit card or the online payment system, PayPal.
The transactions completed in this manner are of course completely secure and there is no risk when passing through a website such as ours that works with the American authorities with the advantages of detailed explanations and the form available in a number of languages.
Once you have completed the online payment you will receive a confirmation email and another email with your authorisation attached. You then simply need to print this authorisation that is valid for two years.
How to avoid supplementary costs for your ESTA?
As we have just stated, the cost of your ESTA application on the official website is $14. But if you are not careful your right to travel to American territory can cost far more. Imagine for example that you lost your authorisation or you wish to modify some of the information once you have completed the payment. You would then have to repay the fee, in full, in order to edit your ESTA document.
To avoid paying costs and fees it is therefore preferable to take the time, before starting to complete the form, to check the information you have supplied before its submission and use a specialised website such as that of our partner which will check the compliance of your information.
Are there special prices or reductions for the cost of an ESTA under certain conditions?
If you are wondering if there are special reduced prices available to certain categories of people such as jobseekers, children, or large families then you need to know that this is not the case. Each visitor, whatever their age or situation, should make the same application and pay the same costs and fees as the other visitors. Therefore, whatever your financial situation, the number of visitors that accompany you, or your age, you will need to pay the same inherent costs for your ESTA application.
In the same way, you cannot have a discount or reduction through the use of a promotional code or if this is not your first application.
What to do if the application fees have not been paid from my account?
When you create an ESTA authorisation application online you will need to pay the transfer and processing costs and fees for your file using a credit card. On our website these fees and costs amount to €55. If you have not received a response to your ESTA authorisation application after 72 hours and you have checked that the email address stated in your form is correct and the reply cannot be found in the spam folder of your email inbox then this means that the payment has probably not been completed correctly and therefore your application has not been processed and examined accordingly.
In this case the first thing to do is to consult your bank account to verify if the payment has been made or not. If this is not the case then it is highly recommended to retrace your steps by creating a new ESTA authorisation application online. You will need to complete the form again from the beginning and proceed with a new payment. Check carefully first to ensure that funds are available in your account and that your bank will agree to make the payment.
How to correct mistakes
Only a mistake concerning the passport number requires a new ESTA application form submission. The other data such as itinerary, the name of the airline company, the flight number or the email address can be changed with the update function.
Valid for a period of two years from its approval date or until the expiry of the passport if this expires before this period, an ESTA authorisation is valid for several visits during this period. A traveller whose passport expires before the two year period will receive an ESTA authorisation valid until the passport expiry date. It should be noted that only electronic, biometric and optical read passports are valid. Emergency or temporary passports are not suitable for ESTA authorisation; their holders should request a visa from a United States Embassy.
Can these fees be paid by another method other than credit card?
Finally, you are probably wondering if it is possible to pay for the ESTA authorisation fees other than by using a credit card. Unfortunately the ESTA system is 100% digital or electronic therefore online payment is the only authorised means of payment. This is for several reasons including and in particular the rapid processing of the application.
Payment by cheque or bank transfer takes far longer and can delay the response to your ESTA application as well as not guaranteeing its processing.
Of course, payment by credit card for your ESTA application is completed through an entirely secure server and your information is encrypted for your protection against any fraudulent use.
If you do not possess a credit card you can use a prepaid debit card or request your bank for a single use credit card number for this payment. In this way you can still benefit from the ESTA programme in the same way as other visitors to the United States.
Is the online payment of an ESTA application safe and reliable?
If you are not used to paying for products or services online you may feel a certain reticence concerning the payment of your ESTA application through the internet. You may wonder if this type of payment is safe and reliable.
If you complete your ESTA application through a quality website such as that of the provider we recommend here then you will have no worries concerning the safety of the payment procedure. Payments are made through a secure server, in the same way as any purchase or payment through a reputable online website. As a reminder, to be certain that you are on a safe and secure web page, simply confirm that when you are on the payment page (where you enter your payment details) the URL address bar starts with ‘https’, or you see a padlock icon.
What is meant by a ‘secure server’? This actually means that the page where you enter your card details is part of a system that protects your personal and financial data. The numbers and information that you enter are in fact encrypted by the system which means they cannot be used fraudulently or kept in any system to be used for anything else. There is therefore no risk of piracy or fraud when using your debit or credit card with a secure server. Another thing, only the amount stated will be debited from your account and nothing else can be charged then or later.
Finally, you should know that most of the time your bank credit or debit card has a supplementary security feature that stops fraudulent use. Therefore, when you submit your card details online for payment of your ESTA it is probable that you will be redirected to the safe server of your bank to validate the payment of the amount stated. To do so your bank may send you a single use confidential code for example either by SMS or email. Only when this code has been entered will the payment be completed.
To conclude, there is no risk in paying for your ESTA using a credit or debit card online as the entire process was implemented to ensure maximum security during transactions.
Why does the price of an ESTA authorisation differ from one website to another?
You have no doubt remarked that there are a number of online service websites offering ESTA authorisation applications and the prices charged are variable, from just a few Euros to several dozen Euros. So why is there so great a difference and how to make a good choice? The difference in price between the different service providers can be explained as follows:
- The rapidity of processing: The most effective websites guarantee the immediate processing of your ESTA authorisation application so you can obtain it as soon as possible, many within just a few hours such as our partner’s website.
- Assistance during the application procedure: Certain websites such as ours offer real time accompaniment and assistance when you complete your ESTA application form online. You therefore have the opportunity to ask advice in real time from a specialist via an online chat as and when necessary. This is an excellent way of ensuring that you do not make any mistakes that could cause a refusal of your application.
- Supplementary services: There again, certain service providers offer you the opportunity to benefit from supplementary services such as sending you a physical copy of your ESTA authorisation if you do not possess a printer and wish to have a paper copy of your travel authorisation.
- Finally, the guarantees offered in the case of a refusal should be taken into account. Although the vast majority of websites that offer this type of service do not offer a refund if you do not obtain your ESTA authorisation, certain high quality websites such as that of our partner do guarantee the opportunity of receiving a refund of all the costs and fees engendered in your application if you do not obtain your travel authorisation.
Of course, the price charged is a decisive element when you apply for an ESTA, in the same way as when you purchase a product or pay for a service online. You will therefore be pleased to learn that our partner charges a very reasonable price compared to other service providers online that sometimes charge several dozen Euros without providing the same quality of service. By using the service that we recommend you will have the guarantee of a premium quality service integrating all the advantages that we have outlined for a highly competitive price! An offer that is extremely difficult even to match!
In fact, we recommend that you beware of websites that display low prices which generally provide poor service often with long and variable processing times for your ESTA application. It is of course highly important that your travel plans are achieved satisfactorily under the best conditions including the rapid receipt of your ESTA travel authorisation. Carefully compare the different offers available and take into account the essential information regarding service quality.
In which currency should I pay for the ESTA application?
The official ESTA website is of course an American website that displays the fees in U.S. Dollars. But please be reassured, you are not required to pay for your ESTA travel authorisation application in this currency. You can make your payment online and find out the exact amount required, whatever the currency of your country of residence.
Therefore, if you are a citizen of one of the European countries that is a member of the ESTA scheme you can use a website such as ours that accepts payment in Euros. You can also access the application form in several different languages which will greatly facilitate your application process.
Whatever the type of currency you use to pay your administrative fees, we undertake to pay the American authorities the amount necessary for the processing of your application, and this within the briefest of delays. The payment is made by credit card for obvious security reasons as well as that of enabling a faster processing of your application.
Do you need to pay each time you use the ESTA?
If you have made a prior ESTA application for a previous visit to the USA then you will not necessarily have to repay for an ESTA authorisation to travel to the United States. An ESTA authorisation is actually valid for two years from the date of acceptance and can be used numerous times for different visits as long as you fulfil the eligibility criteria (less than 90 days per trip).
Beyond this validity period, or if your personal situation changes, you will need to renew your ESTA application which entails a new payment. This will also be the case if you misplace your ESTA file number so it is therefore important to keep this information in a safe place.
Is full payment required again for the renewal of an ESTA?
If you have already received an ESTA authorisation that has expired or will soon expire then maybe you wish to know if you need to pay the same amount again for its renewal.
Unfortunately, it is necessary for you to pay the costs and fees again due to a simple and logical reason: Renewing a travel authorisation is actually the same as completing a fresh application. You will therefore need to complete the entire procedure again including the completion of the application form in the same way as before and your application will be subject to the same scrutiny and verification as the first. The costs engendered by this renewal are therefore the same as those of your initial application and it is therefore normal that the amount charged is the same.
It should be noted that the price of your ESTA is also the same in the case of modification of certain information, even if your travel authorisation has not expired. It is therefore not possible to receive a reduction in the ESTA price or avoid the payment of the costs and fees inherent in the transfer and processing of your ESTA application.
Is the payment refunded if an ESTA authorisation application is refused?
Many people also ask if the fact of obtaining a refusal to their authorisation application means they receive a refund of the costs engendered. There again, the response is likely to disappoint you as the procedure does not allow for a total or partial refund of the payment made if the authorities decide not to grant this travel authorisation apart from if the service provider makes an exceptional offer. This is exactly the case with the service provider we recommend on our website.
In fact, whatever the response given to your application, the costs and fees inherent in the processing of your application are the same and the time spent on the verification of information submitted on refused applications are the same as for applications that are granted, sometimes even more. It is therefore logical that the costs and fees are paid whatever the result. However our partner refunds 100% of the fees incurred if your authorisation is refused, even if the refusal is due to an error made by you. In this case you will be able to reapply online without making a supplementary payment.
In the case whereby the response to your ESTA application is negative, the refund of the amount paid is made automatically to the account used for the initial payment.
This is the reason why you should take time and care when completing your ESTA questionnaire and reply in a coherent and truthful manner, also it is important to carefully check all the answers that you provide before submitting your application by making the payment online. It would be a shame if you had to reapply for your ESTA and waste your time due to a simple error.