Apply for an official ESTA

In 3 easy steps

US ESTA application

Further ESTA questions at a glance

Why do you need an ESTA?

The Electronic Entry System (ESTA) system was introduced by the US Homeland Security Agency to enable citizens of the participating countries of the Visa Waiver Program to enter without a visa. The elaborate procurement of a visa through the embassies is thus lapsed. It is, of course, a short stay of 90 days. Furthermore, since the attack of 9/11, the Homeland Security Agency has already tried to sort out potentially dangerous applicants. It is recommended to submit the application at least 72 hours before arrival. In principle, however, you can also apply shortly before the departure, but there is no possibility of an alternative, such as, for example to get a classic US visa. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that you can apply for the ESTA application online as a 3rd person - just as you can apply as an individual for entire groups of up to 50 people. Here, as an indication, if several or individual persons are excluded from the ESTA program in the group applications, this does not affect the entire group, only the individual. Furthermore, you should also be aware that the electronic system for entry permits is only for holidays or business trips. If the border guardian is not convinced of this, he can refuse to let you enter despite a valid ESTA. You have to have a return flight ticket in addition to enough cash (or credit cards).

Why is there now an ESTA visa?

Today's ESTA registration replaces the old forms, which have previously been filled in in ships or planes.

How long is the ESTA visa valid?

From the date of issue, the ESTA entry permit is valid for 2 years - unless the expiration date of the passport is earlier.

I'm only making a stopover in the US, but I still need a valid ESTA?

Yes - American airports do not have comparable transit areas as we do in Europe, so you will also need a valid ESTA entry permit.

Since when is an entry permit in this form necessary for the USA?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced the electronic travel authorization procedure by ordinance on 7 November 2008.

How much earlier should I request ESTA before departure?

The ESTA can be requested until shortly before the flight, but it is recommended to apply for this at least 72 hours before departure. At least there is then a small realistic chance to apply for a US visa.

How long does the processing and approval take?

The decision may take up to 72 hours. Usually you get the confirmation within 24 hours.

Can I also apply for the ESTA for third parties?

Friends, relatives, employees of a travel agency or airline can complete the application and pay. Are there any things that I have to consider in the ESTA application? Yes, unfortunately countless. Here are just a few examples from our collection. Email addresses with a kkk @ lead to a rejection of the application. But also IS_Meier @ or ISIS @ and countless other combinations and abbreviations. Of course, all the abbreviations used had nothing to do with the current use in the media, but were in part for abbreviations of an old association, initials or phantasies and were already used much earlier. But the US homeland security authority has clear guidelines here.

I got my ESTA approval, what is the next step?

With an approved application, you are entitled to enter the United States from the date of issue within the next 2 years for a total of 90 days. Note: It does not automatically mean that you are allowed to enter the country; the officer at the border control decides whether the entry may be carried out.

Can I enter the US more than once my ESTA?

An approved application allows you to enter the United States for a maximum of 90 days within a period of two years. But important - an authorized permit does not automatically mean that you can enter. Ultimately, the Border Protection Officer of Customer and Border Protection decides whether to enter. You usually have enough cash on each re-entry, and even better, a valid return flight ticket to your home. Note: You should ensure that the purpose of the entry is consistent with the provisions of visa-free travel. If you use the VWP often behind each other, or the 90 days each time excites, it may be that you need a visa, e.g. Work visa or residence visa.

Do I need a print out of my ESTA application?

This is not required. But it can only be recommended, as this can help a border guards officer and thus misunderstandings can be avoided.

Do travelers also need a valid ESTA license for an intermediate landing?

Even with an intermediate landing (pure transit), all travelers need a valid ESTA.

What do I need to consider when registering with ESTA?

All children's passports issued after 26 October 2006 are void for visa-free travel to the United States. For entry, a US visa is required from a US embassy. Alternatively, an electronic passport can be taken for children, which also allows children visa-free entry into the USA.