The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or the ESTA, is a program run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that allows foreign nationals to travel to the United States without having to get a visa.
The ESTA is an expedited process for travelers who want to travel to the United States from abroad. It’s a fast and easy way to enter the country but it comes with some important tips and requirements you need to be aware of.
What is the ESTA?
The ESTA is a form travelers have to fill out online if they want to travel to the United States without getting a visa. The ESTA can be processed in less than 24 hours, which makes it a good option for those traveling around the world. The ESTA is only required when you’re flying into the United States through one of its airports, not when you’re arriving at your final destination within the United States.
In addition to being able to apply for the ESTA online, you can also apply in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas. You do this by visiting the nearest American embassy or consulate to where you are.
If you decide to apply for the ESTA in person, make sure to bring these documents with you:
- Your passport and any other documentation needed to prove identity
- Any proof of U.S. citizenship such as birth certificates
- Traveler’s insurance
- A recent photo
- Proof of funds to cover your stay
You will also have to pay $15 per person, if you plan on traveling with children under 16 years old. Children between 16 to 18 must provide their own health insurance.
While most people don’t need a visa to visit the United States, there are still certain restrictions you should know about before you book a flight. If you’re planning on spending more than 90 days in the country, the federal government requires that you get a tourist visa before entering the country. This visa requires a criminal background check and can take up to six months to receive. To request a tourist visa, you’ll need to download Form I-131.
For more information on the ESTA and how it works, head over to our ESTA guide. There you can learn everything you need to know about the ESTA, including what you can and can’t bring into the United States.
How long does the ESTA last?
The ESTA lasts for two years after you applied for it and expires when it reaches the end of its expiration date.
On the official website for the ESTA, you can find the expiration dates for each country, along with all the countries that currently participate in the program.
Here are the current expiration dates according to the Department of Homeland Security:
- Canada – June 21, 2022
- Germany – Dec. 31, 2020
- Mexico – Dec. 31, 2020
- United Kingdom – Sept. 30, 2021
- Australia – Sept. 30, 2021
- New Zealand – Sept. 30, 2021
Most countries’ ESTAs expire every year, except Canada, Germany, Mexico, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, which are currently participating in the program. All other countries currently have their ESTAs set to expire on the same day every year, so it won’t change much.
Are you planning to go abroad for the extra funds or the studies? Facing difficulty in getting the visa. In this situation. A person can plan to apply for the esta as it will give the players with the good results. The main motive of the players is the reach the goals in effective manner.
How many people can use the ESTA?
There is no limit to how many people can use the ESTA, however, you may need to wait longer to arrive at the airport depending on the number of people using the program at the time. Here are the maximum limits for flights coming into America from the following countries:
- Cuba – 100 passengers
- Iran – 70 passengers
- North Korea – 50 passengers
- Venezuela – 40 passengers
If you’re planning on traveling to one of these countries, you should expect to spend longer waiting in line to get into the airport. However, you’ll still be able to get into the country once you reach immigration, so it’s not going to stop you from heading to your next destination.
To see the full list of countries that currently participate in the ESTA, check out this page on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
Can I update my ESTA status?
Yes! You can go onto the ESTA website anytime you want to check your status or update your application. To update your ESTA, click on the “Update ESTA Status” button at the top of the site. On the next screen, you’ll be asked to choose how you want to update your status.
You can update your ESTA via email, phone, or mail. You can also choose to update your ESTA online at a later date if you forget to do it earlier.
Once you’ve updated your ESTA, you’ll receive a confirmation email asking you to print out copies of your updates and then bring them with you to the airport. If you fail to show proof of updating your ESTA, you could face fines or even deportation.
Do I need to renew my ESTA?
No, you don’t. Once your ESTA has expired, you can no longer use it unless you plan on returning to the United States after traveling to another country. In that case, applying for an ESTA would help expedite your trip home because you wouldn’t need to get a new visa.