ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online form if you plan to travel to the United States. The ESTA request is an authorization to enter US territory compulsory since January 2009. This request must be made at least three days before your flight to New York directly on the ESTA website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. But what are the different steps to perform ESTA requests?
Important information: if previously this document was available for free, since 2010, it is chargeable. However, some sites offer you to request ESTA for you for a high price. Be careful! Because to get your ESTA, there is only one official website. Also, making your request is very simple!
ESTA: a mandatory document to request directly on the internet
ESTA request is made directly online on the official ESTA website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. The steps are then straightforward.
Important reminders: following the events of 2015, the United States modified some conditions for obtaining ESTA. This is the Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015, and the main changes are:
- To enter the United States, travelers eligible for the ESTA program must have an electronic passport.
- Travelers are no longer allowed to enter the territory with their ESTA. This concerns national of countries which have signed the ESTA agreement, but who have stayed or traveled in Syria, Iran, Iraq, or Sudan after March 1, 2011 (except people who went there for diplomatic reasons or Businessmen, journalists, and workers are working for humanitarian organizations are not affected by this measure either).
- People with passports from Syria, Iran, Iraq, or Sudan.
ESTA request: step by step to do it well
Once on the official ESTA website, Choose your language (top right) and click on “new request.” If you are making an ESTA request for yourself, choose the “individual request” button, but if you are making it for several people (spouse, children, etc.), click on the “request group.” Each time you connect to the site, you will only use one identifier, and to settle your various ESTA requests, you will only make one transaction.
After reading and confirming the security notice and legal conditions, fill in the various information requested: passport data, nationality, contact details, job … Take care to fill in everything and check everything, in particular your passport number and contact details, because, in case of error, you will have to start all over again!
Practical information: For married women, only one or both surnames (maiden name and married name) can be entered. Indeed, even if it is legally the maiden name that must be entered on the administrative documents, the important thing is to have a surname familiar to these three documents: passport, ESTA, and the plane ticket.
To make your task more comfortable and to avoid an input error, the ESTA website offers you the “download my passport” functionality, which will allow you to photograph the automatic reading zone (MRZ) visible at the bottom of the biographical page of your passport. Thanks to this download option, several data such as surname, first name, passport number, etc. will be automatically entered in the different fields.
You will also need to give information about your job, and if you wish, you can provide information about your online presence. To do this, indicate the social network (s) you are using and your username. But this remains optional!
From your personal information given, New York Travel Information (or elsewhere in the USA), you will be asked. Among the information to be provided, you must, in particular, provide a contact on-site. If you do not know anyone, you can enter the name of the owner of your accommodation or the name of your hotel.
Have you completed everything? Now check the information provided and validate as soon as you are sure of your answers. Then, pay the $ 14 requested for your ESTA request.
In general, your request will be accepted within a few seconds. But sometimes it can take up to 72 hours. To avoid unpleasant surprises, think about applying for ESTA well before you fly to New York! And don’t forget that everyone traveling with you must also complete the online form. Ditto for babies and young children, an ESTA request is required.
Be aware that there are also other services for applying for ESTA online such as https://demandevisa.fr/etats-unis.
What if their ESTA request is pending?
Have you requested your ESTA, but your request is pending? Do not panic! Just because your offer is still not accepted does not mean that it is automatically refused. As previously indicated, acceptance of your claim can take 72 hours; must, therefore, be patient.
How long is ESTA valid for?
Upon acceptance of your request, your ESTA will be valid for two years. Thus, if you plan to make several stays in New York before the expiry date of your ESTA, you will not need to request each trip. But before you fly to the Big Apple, think to verify the validity of your answers on the ESTA website. If some are to be modified, make the changes.
After two years, your ESTA request must be renewed.
- Your ESTA request must be made two years maximum or three days minimum before your departure for Big Apple (or another American state).
- If you use overland to enter American soil, an ESTA request will not be necessary.
You now have all the information to complete your ESTA request correctly! Go quickly to the site https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.