March 3, 2015

What is an ESTA?

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. If you intend to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you need to comply with several requirements. First and most important is to apply online for a travel permit; such permit is known as ESTA. You can only apply online by visiting Please remember that only certain countries belong to the Visa Waiver Program. Once you obtain your ESTA travel authorization, you are ready to travel to the US. Your visit can be for tourism, business, or transit to another country. VWP allows you to stay within the US for a maximum of 90 (ninety) days.

Overview on ESTA

Department of ESTA

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)?

ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program.  

What is an ESTA Visa?

The electronic system for travel authorization allows USA immigration to decide if a traveler poses a risk for national security or not. Thanks to USA intelligence, the immigration services can rely on a quite large database of security information. An ESTA application is crosschecked with that database and the outcome determines if the traveler is eligible or not.  

Why do USA authorities require ESTA?

The Department of Homeland Security instituted a new policy and process for travelers under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Citizens and nationals of participating countries can now travel to the US without having to apply for a lengthy business or tourist visa. The new process entails obtaining a travel authorization prior to departure to the United States by completing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) request. Travelers are asked to complete the questionnaire at their own discretion or through a representative or third party. Once the request for authorization is submitted, travelers are notified of their status electronically. Airlines will verify your ESTA status prior to departure for the US.  

Who has to obtain an electronic travel authorization?

All citizens and nationals of participating countries of the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a travel authorization prior to departure to the United States. This applies to passengers traveling on vessels by air or sea. Under age children traveling with their parents must also receive a separate travel authorization. A representative or third party must submit your request for authorization on your behalf.  

Where do I submit an application?

As said, ESTA applications can only be submitted online. The online form is available at Please answer the mandatory questions to send your application. Each traveler in your group needs an authorization.  

What information is needed to fill out the online form?

The online form has 2 sections: the first part requests your personal and passport information. The second has 7 eligibility questions that you need to answer. The questions are regarding your personal health, criminal history, visa history, and other. It is important to remember that you need a credit card when filling out the application online. To submit your application successfully, you need to make the associated payment.  

Am I required to provide information regarding my travels?

Information about your travels and the United States address where you will be staying are not mandatory.  

Can I modify the information in the ESTA request form once it is filled out and submitted?

Travelers are not allowed to modify the information already submitted through the request form, except for the email address, contact phone number and the details about the trip. We strongly recommend paying maximum attention to the personal and passport information you are going to submit (identification, passport number, issuing and expiration date). Once submitted, they are not exchangeable.  

If it is necessary, can a third party apply for me?

The answer is yes, you can have somebody else apply on your behalf. Notwithstanding, the applicant is responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the answers. A third party can even make the payment for your ESTA fees.  

How long will my travel authorization be valid?

Your approved travel authorization lasts for two (2) years from the date of issue or until the expiration date of your passport, whichever comes first. This authorization may be revoked by customs and border authorities at any time.  

What if I have submitted more than one travel authorization request?

The last travel authorization is valid. Prior submissions are no longer valid.  

How long prior to traveling to the USA should I request a travel authorization?

The Department of Homeland Security recommends you submit your authorization request at least three (3) days prior to your departure date. Submitting your travel authorization with sufficient lead time, as soon as you have confirmed travel details, is highly recommended by Esta Visa. The ESTA travel authorization is valid for two (2) years from the date of issue or until the expiration date of your passport, whichever comes first. All citizens and nationals of participating countries of the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a travel authorization prior to departure to the United States. This applies to passengers traveling on vessels by air or sea. Under age children traveling with their parents need an ESTA too.  

Once I’ve applied, when am I going to receive my travel authorization?

Once you apply for you ESTA, you will receive an answer from the system within 24 hrs. By the time the system determines your eligibility to travel, you will receive an email with your travel authorization attached to it. You will need to print it out and keep your ESTA with your travel documents (passport, flight ticket, etc.).  

Does ESTA have an expiration?

As soon as an ESTA is granted, it is valid for a period of two (2) years from the issuing date. If in this period your passport expires, your travel authorization expires as well. When you renew your passport you will need to re-apply for an ESTA. In these 2 years of validity you are granted several entrances in the US. In other words, if your first ESTA is valid, you do not need to apply every time you come to the USA.  

In what circumstances I need to apply for a new ESTA?

  • If you renewed your passport
  • If you changed your name
  • If you changed nationality
  • If you changed your gender
  • If any circumstances require you to change the answer to the 8 eligibility questions


As soon as I receive my travel authorization, am I automatically accepted in the US?

Once your ESTA is confirmed, you may travel to the United States. Admission into the US, however, is not automatically guaranteed. Travelers are subject to routine checks by Immigration and Customs prior to admission.  

Once received, should I print out my ESTA?

We strongly recommend printing out your ESTA received via email and keeping it among your travel documents throughout the duration of your travels.  

What should I do when my passport information is modified?

In the case that information on your passport is modified, you are required to submit a new ESTA travel authorization request.  

How much are the fees for my ESTA?

Applying for the ESTA form through our service costs $72.00, which includes the mandatory government fee. Esta Visa is not responsible for any additional charge coming from your credit card company.  

Which payment methods are accepted?

A credit card is needed to pay your ESTA. MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Diners Club, Discover or JCB Card are welcomed. As said, a third party can pay your ESTA The applicant’s name does not need to match the name on the credit card. Your ESTA will not be processed until the payment is received.  

How secure is my personal and payment information?

Your information is safe. The personal data which we collect from you is:

  • your family name
  • your first (given) name
  • your date of birth
  • your gender
  • your email address
  • and your country of origin

With maintaining transparency as mission manages the user information in conformity with the latest security standards. We do not share personal information with any third party. We constantly keep our website under supervision with the latest internet protection available. We operate with maximum respect towards user’s confidential and personal information. Our offices are working under standard procedures to assure the due privacy to all the applications we process.  

Travel Authorization and I-94W form

If you enter the USA by land, you are not required to have an ESTA. In fact, when you go through immigration at land borders, you will have to fill a I-94W form. It costs $6. In the near future, the ESTA system will be implemented at the land immigration entries.  

What can I do in case my travel authorization is not granted?

If your ESTA travel authorization is not granted, you will need to request a visa through the American embassy  

I hold a valid visa, do I have to apply for an ESTA?

The answer is no. You don’t need an ESTA if your visa is valid and current. Just use that to enter the United States. In pills

  • Who: Travelers from 38 countries belonging to the VWP
  • What: Travel permit to enter the US
  • Where:
  • Why: Simplifying USA immigration system
  • How much: $72 authorizing and processing fees
  • and your country of origin



To contact us, please fill out the form on the Contact page, then will contact you shortly.