- You MUST make an ESTA application, even if you are just a transit passenger
Anyone travelling to the US needs travel authorisation, such as a valid ESTA. Even if you are only transiting though the USA, you still need to apply for an ESTA. Find out here (requirements) whether you are entitled to apply for the ESTA and if you fulfil the requirements.
- You can submit the application online
You will receive the ESTA approval by completing the form online, sending it off and paying. It is not a problem for a third party, e.g. a friend, a relative or an acquaintance, to submit the application on your behalf.
- Check the status before each trip
An ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. However, before you travel, you should check whether your application is still active; it can happen that an application is subsequently declared invalid by the US authorities without notice.
- An ESTA cannot be extended
Please note that a new application must be submitted after the ESTA expires. An extension or transfer to another passport is not possible.
- You will need an electronic passport
Since April 2016, an ESTA application is only possible with an electronic passport. Look for the chip sign. Entry with a non-electronic or temporary passport is not possible.
- ESTA not possible with a children's passport
Children not in possession of an electronic passport are not entitled to submit an ESTA application. Please ensure that your child receives an electronic passport instead of a child passport, otherwise a visa will be required.
An ESTA can be applied for by all nationals of countries participating in the VWP. If all requirements are met, you can simply print out your application, which is sent by us as a PDF file.
Fill out your ESTA
Submit the application
Pay for your application
Wait for confirmation
Print out your ESTA
To receive your ESTA application, you must complete the online ESTA form. To avoid any mistakes, please ensure that the data is entered exactly as it appears in your passport. In order that you can fill out your registration for the ESTA quickly and easily, please have the following data and documents ready:
- Electronic passport
- Personal details (including the names of the parents, address and contact data)
- Identity card number
- Information about current or former employer
- Details about accommodation/abode in the USA (hotel, flat, address, telephone number)
- Emergency contact details inside or outside the USA (name, telephone number and email address)
- Credit card details
Third parties can also apply on your behalf; what is important is that the requested data is made available. You can also apply on behalf of your family or friends.
After we have received your application, our trained staff will check it for possible mistakes. If there is a mistake, we will contact you to correct it as soon as possible. Subsequently, the data is passed on to the US authorities. Once a decision has been made about your ESTA application, we will send it to you by email as a PDF file.
If your ESTA is approved, we recommend that you print it out and make a note of the application number, even if the ESTA is electronically retrievable and linked to your passport. If you do not have a printer available, we can send your approval by courier.
Reasons for rejecting an ESTA application could be the following:
- You have answered yes to an authorisation request
- You have dual citizenship in one of the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia
- You have previously stayed in the USA longer than the allowed entry period.
- You have once lost a previous passport or reported as stolen
- You have given false information with your ESTA registration
- You are in possession of an American green card
- There are also other reasons, which not be not specified by the US authorities
Submit a new application – don’t extend!If your ESTA application has expired or your details have changed, you must submit a new application. You cannot extend an ESTA. The following circumstances require a new application to be submitted:
- you get a new passport
- you change your name (first and/or last name)
- you change your gender
- you change your citizenship
- your circumstances change. You are, for example, convicted of a criminal offence or get an infectious disease, etc. and would now have to answer one of the authorisation questions in the ESTA application with Yes
You have not received any feedback on your ESTA application, or already have a valid ESTA and want to retrieve this again for your next trip?
If you have submitted your application to our service portal, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone. We will be pleased to resend your application – if, of course, it is still valid – with your name, your passport number and your date of birth.
If you have submitted your application to another portal, you can also use our ESTA Check Service. The following options are available for retrieval:
Enter the following details:
- Passport number
- Date of birth
- First names as they appear in the passport
If the ESTA Check is successful, we will send your ESTA approval by email. If the application has already expired or if no ESTA can be retrieved, we will of course send you a notification.
Children of all ages need their own ESTA to travel to the USA.
- Mistake in your biometric data (passport data)
If you have made a mistake when entering your personal details, such as name, first name, date of birth, place of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiration, nationality, these mistakes cannot be corrected for an already approved ESTA. In this case, you must submit a new application, as the existing one is invalidated by the mistake.
- Mistake in contact or employer details
If you have made a mistake in your contact details, employer details, US contact or emergency contact details, this cannot be corrected, except for the email address. However, it is not so bad if these details need to changed, as no new ESTA application needs to be submitted.
- Error when answering authorisation questions
If you have mistakenly answered yes to one of the eligibility questions and your ESTA was rejected, a new request can be made after 24h in some cases. Unfortunately, these are often also rejected, depending on the question. You can also raise an objection to the rejection, but please note that the review can take up to 6 weeks. However, if you lie and answer no to one of the questions even though it applies to you, this can lead to considerable problems with entry into the US for up to 5 years.
Germany has been a member of the Visa Waiver Program since 12 January 2009.
Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program:
- You are a national of one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program
- You have your own electronic passport*
- You have a valid ESTA
- You are travelling to the USA by plane or by ship
- You have a return or onward ticket which does not end in Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean
- You have double citizenship in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Libya or Somalia
- You have visited one of the aforementioned countries since 1 March 2011
- You answer one of the eligibility questions with yes*