November 11, 2019

How to retrieve an existing ESTA Authorization

check existing ESTA

You have received an approved ESTA Authorization, but you need to retrieve it or check its status. You would simply need to follow certain guidelines.

This article serves to assist with retrieving an existing document, the required steps and the possible modifications allowed on an already existing ESTA.  


The reasons for retrieving an existing ESTA Authorization

People travelling to the United States for business or tourism purposes can take advantage of an online travel permit.

ESTA or the Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an online permit for qualified visitors, issued by the U.S. Government through an online electronic verification system.

ESTA was established to simplify the process for citizens of eligible countries to enter the USA without a visa.

Citizens of eligible countries qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and can now apply online for the ESTA Authorization to visit the USA. This procedure does away with the usual visa application process.

The ESTA Authorization is for travellers who intend to visit the USA for tourism or business purposes for a period not exceeding 90 days. 


Retrieval of the ESTA Document in case of no response

If you plan to visit the United States of America, you will have to obtain your own ESTA Authorization. In order to do so, please complete the application on our website.

The application form asks various questions about the applicant’s identity, citizenship, employment, personal address, social media profile, health, travel purpose, possible criminal record, etc…

After completing the application form and paying the service fee, the U.S. authorities will validate the online travel permit. Within 72 hours, your travel authorization will be confirmed and issued by email together with the ESTA.

Should you not receive the emailed ESTA, you are able to retrieve it yourself. Bear in mind that ESTA approval can take up to 3 days.


Typically between one and 32 hours after receipt of payment, one of the following replies are sent:  


  1. Travel Authorized – this means that your ESTA has been approved and you are eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program;

  3. ESTA Pending – this means that your ESTA status has not yet been determined. Do not worry! As mentioned previously, U.S. authorities require up to 72 hours to process an application;

  5. Travel not authorized – this means that you are not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to visit the USA. You will simply have to contact the Embassy to apply for a regular visa.


In the event the 72-hour processing period for your ESTA has passed without receipt of the emailed authorization, you will have to complete the retrieval form on our website.

Before proceeding to retrieve your ESTA for the U.S.A., please check your email’s Bulk/Spam folder.

If you are certain that payment has been successful but are yet to receive your ESTA, proceed with retrieving your online travel permit using the form on our website.  


Check an existing ESTA for possible errors

It is likely that you need to retrieve your existing ESTA Authorization to check for possible typos or mistakes on the application form.

It is feasible that after completing the application and making the payment, you realise that you made an error when completing the application form.

We suggest correcting the information on the application form in order to receive approval to travel to the USA and avoid being denied entry to U.S. soil. Incorrect information on your ESTA Authorization will result in a stay at the airport pending a return flight.

The only information you will be allowed to modify directly on an existing ESTA, is the point of contact in the USA and your email address.

Personal information such as passport data, dual citizenship, personal address, emergency contact and answers to the nine eligibility questions cannot be edited once the ESTA authorization is paid for.

Should you have submitted incorrect information, please contact us immediately!

It is not possible to amend information on an existing ESTA, and you will have to reapply for a new document using a new application number.

It is inevitable that an application entails another waiting period. For this reason, it is recommended the application be made at least one month before your intended trip to the U.S. This will allow sufficient time for reapplication or application for a regular visa in case of an ESTA denial.

Please note that, should any of the nine eligibility questions be answered incorrectly, the travel will not be authorized or ESTA approved. You will not be able to reapply for an U.S. ESTA.

For this reason, the application form full attention must be paid with the completion of the form, focusing on completing all the fields. Remember, all you need to successfully complete your application is your passport and a good internet connection.

Do not rush and make sure to check all the information before proceeding to make payment.

You will have the chance to check all your answers once you have filled in the form and agreed with the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page. After doing so, you will be directed to the Confirmation page where all your answers can be reviewed.

If you need to amend answers, select Modify to be redirected to the application form. Proceed with making payment only once you have checked all the information provided.  


An already approved ESTA: why bother checking the information again?

Travellers with an approved ESTA should still check its current status.

Since the ESTA Authorization is usually valid for two years as of the date of approval by the U.S. authorities for multiple visits to the USA, we suggest you check the status before every trip.


Changes to the status of the ESTA Authorization may be due to:  


  1. Change of passport due to marriage, divorce, change of sex, change of citizenship, lost passport, etc… – if your ESTA has been approved on a passport that is no longer valid, your ESTA will also no longer be valid;

  3. Change of approved travel status – certain circumstances may cause a previously approved document to become unauthorized. This is due to a change in ESTA application requirements, for example, a visit to any of the following countries after receipt of approved ESTA: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen;

  5. Criminal charge – Any arrests or accusation of a crime during the validity period of your ESTA will result in a change to your approved status to travel not authorized.


As previously mentioned, the ESTA Authorization is valid for two years, a period during which one can easily forget the exact expiration of the online travel permit.

Feel free to contact us if you require confirmation of the travel validity of your existing ESTA.

To check the status of an existing ESTA, please complete the retrieval form on our website in full.


The following information will be required:  

  • Passport number;
  • Passport issuance and expiry dates;
  • Nationality;
  • Birthdate;
  • Email address;


The ESTA is valid for two years for multiple entries into the U.S for tourism or business purposes. You can also use the ESTA for short educational courses and for transit purposes.

It is therefore important to be sure of the expiry date of this valuable online travel permit.

Remember, if your ESTA is valid on your day of arrival in the U.S., you can use it as long as you do not exceed the period of 90 days.  


How to check the status of an existing ESTA

If you need to recall the status or the expiry date of your ESTA, please check your email Bulk/Spam folder first.

Should you be unable to retrieve the emailed ESTA, you will have to complete the retrieval form on our website.

You will have to provide your passport number, passport dates, nationality, birthdate, and email address.


Once completed and paid for, we will email you with one of four possible responses:  


  • ESTA Document Approved – approved ETSA authorization will be emailed to you;

  • ESTA Document Pending – you will receive an email informing you that U.S. authorities are still processing your application;

  • ESTA Not Authorized – you will receive emailed confirmation that your travel is not authorized;

  • ESTA Document Not Found – this means that your application was unsuccessful or that your ESTA has expired. In either case, you will have to reapply for a valid online travel permit.


Do not forget to print a copy of your approved ESTA after receipt and to keep it with your travel documents. This will save you time and hassles.

Bon voyage!