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ESTA: Apply for your Travel Authorization

International travellers who are seeking to travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are now subject to enhanced security requirements and will have to pay an administrative fee. All eligible travellers who plan to travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a travel authorization. For this reason the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced an electronic method - ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). We recommend to apply for the electronic travel authorisation at least 72 hours prior to departure.

ESTA USA | Application online form for UK citizens

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ESTA: what data is required

To avoid delays or difficulties during the online process, the traveler should gather the following information in advance.

  • Machine-readable valid passport (please check the expiry date in your passport before submitting your application)
  • Private information (among other things: Names of parents, address, nationality and contact details
  • Information / name / address of current or former employer
  • Data for an emergency contact - inside or outside the United States (name, phone number, email address)
  • Information about your accommodation / location (s) in the USA (hotel, house, apartment - with address and telephone number)
  • Children need an e-passport
  • Authorized credit card for online payment

Is an US ESTA a visa?

The ESTA form is only an electronic entry permit, it is not a visa. Citzens from the VWP countries can travel visa-free to the United States.

Where to buy ESTA?

The traveler who owns a passport from the eligible VWP countries has to submit online the application without having contact to the US Consulate. We recommend to print out the ESTA approval and take it with you to the airport. At the check-in you must already have a valid authorization.

How many days before travel should you apply for it?

The CBP (United States Customs and Border Protection) recommends that you apply for your electronic travel authorization online at least 72 hours before departure. Although the feedback is much faster, you should schedule this buffer. For all travellers who already have an exact date in the distance, we recommend an even more timely application. If it is then rejected, the traveler has enough time to apply for a real visa at the embassy.

How long should you wait until it is approved?

We usually deliver your tested ESTA authorization within 24 hours on weekdays.

How long is the ESTA application valid?

After being approved, an ESTA Visa exires after 2 years. The Section 217 (a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that during this period you can enter and leave the country several times for a maximum of 90 days. Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and the Bermudas are not considered as departure countries. You can check the validity of your electronic travel authorization with the application number and your passport data. Note: If you enter and leave the country at unnatural intervals, you may be refused entry despite an approved travel authorisation.

How much does the application cost?

The electronic authorisation costs 14 US Dollars, 10 USD of which are US government fees and 4 USD credit card fees. The $14 includes the US Customs Border Control and administration fees. If you submit your application form on our service portal, our service with all fees will cost a total of 32,40 GBP.

Is the online Application free of charge?

Since 2011 the ESTA application is no longer free of charge. Most of the revenue from the electronic entry procedure is channelled into tourism advertising in the USA.

Do I need an electronic visa for transit?

An electronic travel authorization is also urgently required for transit. Even if you only stop over. Since American airports do not have security areas comparable to those in Europe.

Already applied, where can I see my status?

If you would like to check if an old ESTA authorisation is still valid, or if the status of your current registration is still valid, you can easily check with your passport data the status of your application on our website.

Can I update my ESTA-Registration?

There are some data that can be updated / changed later. Which data you will find in the following part.

What can you update in your ESTA Visa and what you do not need to change

  • email address
  • Address in the USA (optional)

You can and do not have to update your US contact person, on your way to the USA another form will be filled in (on the plane, ship or at the border), in which you can enter the new data. Changes of the home address or the employer do not have to be changed either, these can also be updated on entry. If the applicant has entered the passport number, family name, first name, birth date incorrectly, the applicant has to reapply for a new application.

Which (personal) changes require a new ESTA application

If one of the following events should occur after the positive request, a new application must be made as a traveller.

  • You applied for a new passport because you have changed your last name due to marriage
  • The passport has expired in the meantime
  • You have now committed a documented crime
  • Your passport was lost or stolen
  • The citizenship has changed or you have an additional citizenship
  • Your gender has changed
  • You have to answer YES to one of the additional questions in the request form

Your ESTA Application was rejected, what you have to do now

The Homeland Security (DHS) does not allow the entry with a denied electronic visa. Even if you own an approved travel authorisation the Border Protection Officer can decide if you are allowed to enter the United States or not. Normal errors that can occur are usually intercepted by our employees in advance. But even if apparently everything is correct and there is no apparent reason for a rejection, it may well happen that an ESTA application is rejected. If you answer one of the ESTA eligibility questions with yes, the application will be rejected. We are there to help you with words and deeds. For further information you can find our contact details on our ESTA website. Sometimes the contact with the CBP or a personal appointment at the US Embassy is also helpful.

Which countries are members of the VWP (Visa Waiver Program)

Citizens from the Visa Waiver Program eligible countries with waiver agreements do not have to apply for the green I-94W card or non-immigrant B-2 visa. The following countries are participating in the Visa Waiver ProgramAustralia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom