How do I apply for an ESTA?

To apply for an ESTA, you must complete an Application. Select and complete "ESTA Application". In your application, enter all required information labeled with a red asterisk. You will be asked to provide: basic biographic information; information from your VWP eligible passport and other passports; your current or previous employer; your address and point of contact in the U.S.; an emergency point of contact; and payment information. You will also be asked to answer nine security questions. Each member of your party must have an approved travel authorization or a visa, regardless of age, prior to traveling to the United States.

Review Your Application - In Step 5 of the Application process, you can review your answers for accuracy before selecting "Next" and submitting your application. To make any corrections, you can select "Previews" and go back to the corresponding application section and make updates. Once your updates are made, you can click "Next" then proceed to the Payment Section.

Make Payment - After reviewing your payment summary on the Payment Section, check “Terms & Conditions” box and click “Pay” you will be taken to the final step where you enter in payment information for payment.

Check Your Application Status - In most cases, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization will return an Application Status immediately. In cases where more time is needed to process an electronic travel authorization application, an answer will usually be returned within 72 hours. Information will be provided to check the application status if you receive a pending response. The three possible responses to an electronic travel authorization application are:

  • Authorization Approved. Your travel authorization has been approved and you are authorized to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. The system displays confirmation of the application approval and a payment receipt notice showing the amount or your payment. A travel authorization does not guarantee admission to the United States as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer at a port of entry will have the final determination.
  • Travel Not Authorized. You are not authorized to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. You may apply for a visa from the Department of State for your travel. Please visit the U.S. Department of State Web site for additional information about applying for a visa. This response does not deny entry into the United States. This response only prohibits you from traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. The system also displays a payment receipt notice showing the amount of your payment for the processing of the ESTA application.
  • Authorization Pending. Your travel authorization is under review because an immediate determination could not be made for your application. This response does not indicate negative findings. A determination will usually be made within 72 hours and you will be notified.

A travel authorization is valid for two years after the application date or until the passport expiration date whichever happens first.

If you obtain a new passport or change your name, gender or country of citizenship, you will be required to apply for a new travel authorization.

Renew an ESTA


A traveler must apply for a new ESTA when the previous authorization, or the applicant's passport, expires.

If your ESTA has expired, you must reapply by submitting a new application.

The average time to complete an ESTA application is 23 minutes.

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