The ESTA form fills up very quickly. It takes less than 10 minutes. It is useful to know some details:
Since the ESTA application has a cost, you must have a VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card. PayPal is also accepted.
You must have a valid email address that works. If you do not have an e-mail address, you must create one or use another person’s e-mail and you will be able to access it.
Fill in all required fields (marked with a red asterisk *), such as: country of passport, residence address, etc. It is always better to check the entered data before making the payment because the input fields can not be modified once confirmed. The only editable field is temporary residence in the United States, so you can update it if the document is reused. If you find an error in the non-editable fields, you will need to request a new form, along with a new payment.
It is advisable to keep the ESTA authorization file number if you need to retrieve it later.
You will receive an answer within a short time after completing your application. In some cases the system may take a while but the DHS (Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration) will have to respond within 72 hours.
In order to better understand the ESTA application process, you can find details by clicking on the question mark beside each field to be completed. Inside the ESTA form you will find questions about the following information:
- Personal data: name, first name; Date, place and country of birth; Sex; The name of the parents. In this part you can also declare a pseudonym if you have one.
- Passport data: Number; due date; Country of issue and citizenship. In this section you can also declare if you have other passports.
- Contact Information: Email, phone number, home address including the city and country where you live.
- Contact information in case of emergency: Name of your emergency contact including telephone number and e-mail.
- Travel information: If you are not in transit, you must declare the place of residence with address, city and state. You will also need to enter the telephone number of this address (if you do not know it you can fill this field with two 00 zeros).
- Information about your profession: If you want, you can give information about your profession such as the name of the company / employer, as well as the address, phone number, and workstation. The last two fields are optional.
- Finally, you will have to answer a few questions about your entry into the United States.
- If you are unsure of some of the answers, you can write “UNKNOWN” when necessary (in case of doubt, consult the available sections by clicking on the question mark next to the field). This option is only available for some fields.
- After filling in all the fields, click on “ASK”, you have the possibility to examine the information. The page will ask you to review your information and answers. If during the revision you notice an error, press “EDIT” to modify without losing the correct information. Continue to the next page, the payment page.
- You will need to make the payment. From there, the application will be analyzed by the system to determine if you are fit to travel in the US with an ESTA.
- Once approved, ESTA will be sent to the e-mail address provided at the time of the online application.
Because the VWP program (Visa Travel Waiver Program) is connected with the CBP and APIS, it is not required to present the ESTA. However, it is best to have a copy or reference number on hand during your trip.
Therefore, we advise you to print the attachment received by email and keep it with your travel documents.
Example 1: Édouard
Edouard lives in the Lot and will soon retire. He decided to spend two months in Santa Monica, where his daughter Françoise has been living with her family for several years.
Edouard is not particularly familiar with the Internet and does not even have an email address.
As it was necessary to obtain a travel document in the United States, he considered it advisable to request the e-mail address from his nephew who lives in the same village and use it to obtain his ESTA.
Luke received his uncle’s ESTA, printed it and handed it to him before he traveled.
Example 2: Vincent
Vincent works as a salesman for an American multinational.
Next month he will have to travel to work in Seattle, where the headquarters of the company he works for is located.
By renewing his ESTA Vincent made a mistake of entering his passport number.
After contacting our customer service by email, we informed him that his ESTA was therefore invalid, and that he had to request a new travel document, this time associated with the correct passport number.
We always suggest, when entering information in the online form, to pay close attention to the information provided.
The confirmation page provides another checking opportunity.