Which information should be updated on the ESTA file?
All the information you have entered on your ESTA form during your first application that has changed needs to be updated. This could be your address, your travel destination or even your passport number if this has changed.
Your ESTA application should of course be modified if you have made an error when completing the original application but also in the case where the traveller’s situation has changed. This may be for example a change in the itinerary or the travel destination, or a modification relating to the traveller’s health or a legal situation.
In these precise cases the modification has to be made on the website where you submitted your first application. It is only after the processing of your modified application that you will obtain your travel authorisation.
Important! If the information is not correct you take the risk of being refused right of entry onto American territory.
When and how to update the ESTA information
As we have just noted, you can modify and update your ESTA information during its two year period of validity in order to use it for any further trips. Beyond that period you will need to re-submit your entire application, starting from the beginning.
To complete your modifications use your reference number that will enable you to access your information online on the website you originally used to submit your original application. Once you have updated your information and saved it you will need to wait for a few days again to obtain the requested authorisation.
In which cases should a new application be created for updating the information on your ESTA?
As we have previously indicated it is possible to modify certain information on your ESTA file using your ESTA file number but this only concerns certain information such as your email address. In the case of major modifications to information relating to certain personal details you cannot proceed with these modifications and will need to recomplete the entire online application procedure to obtain a new ESTA authorisation.
The changes concerned by this new ESTA application are as follows:
- A change in your name or identity.
- A change of address.
- A change in your passport number.
- A change in your situation entailing a different response to one or several questions in your application form.
If you are affected by one or another of these cases then it is imperative that you renew your ESTA authorisation by completing the online form again. Without this new authorisation your entry onto American territory will most certainly be refused as certain information can be verified by the American authorities or travel companies.
Of course, this new application should be complete and you will again be required to pay for the transfer and processing fees for your application and its examination by the authorities concerned. In the same way as for your initial application, you will receive a positive or negative response by email at the address stipulated in your application form and your authorisation will be automatically linked to your passport number.
Once again, except for any further modifications, you can use your ESTA authorisation for future visits to the USA within the two year period.
Is it possible to simply update an ESTA after it has reached its expiry date?
If your ESTA authorisation is shortly coming to its expiry date then you will need to complete a new online application as a renewal is not automatic. Therefore, and for practical time saving reasons, certain travellers ask if it is possible to simply update the information supplied on their original application without having to respond to all the questions on the application form again.
Unfortunately, the response to this question is negative. In fact, when an ESTA has expired it is automatically electronically detached from your passport number and no longer considered as valid or useful by the American authorities responsible for immigration. Therefore, you are obliged to reapply for this travel authorisation and repeat the entire application procedure as you will not be able to access your previous data which is considered as obsolete.
This is the case for all situations and even if no important information has changed from your initial form. The procedure to follow is therefore the same as if you were completing your initial application and you should complete a new submission of your application by repeating the same procedure in full. This includes the full completion of a new application form and the payment of administrative and processing costs and fees as before.
We highly recommend that you pay careful attention to the way in which you complete your application form and keep a copy for future verification of the information you have supplied if you plan to undertake future trips using this authorisation and during the two year valid ESTA period thus avoiding the necessity of updates or modifications.
How to update an ESTA authorisation if you have lost your reference number?
If you wish to update certain information on your ESTA authorisation but cannot find your reference number then you will need to do the following. Firstly, you will need to check that the information you wish to change can be done so without the need to apply for a new authorisation as we have previously explained. Then, it is important for you to know that the official ESTA website in the United States offers several different methods for you to recover your application such as through the use of your passport number or email address.
You also have the possibility of recovering your initial ESTA application by checking your email inbox. In fact, if you haven’t deleted your email confirming you have obtained your ESTA authorisation then there is a strong possibility that you can find it by undertaking a simple search of your inbox using the keyword ‘ESTA’. In this email you will find all the information you need such as your ESTA reference number.
Unfortunately, if you cannot find your reference number through one or another of the methods we have detailed then the only way you can guarantee being able to travel to the United States legally and trouble free is by completing another travel authorisation application online.