How to apply for the ESTA for the United States: cost, requirements and validity

One of the documents required to enter the United States is the application for ESTA authorization, which serves as a tourist visa. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an electronic system for travel authorization that allows citizens of the countries included in the program toexemption from the visa requirement.

Obtaining this document allows you to travel to the USA without a visa, but with a valid e-passport and is part of the Visa Waiver Program (travel without a visa).

Which citizens can I apply for ESTA?

Both Spanish citizens and all European citizens can apply for ESTA. The countries admitted to the program are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, South Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta , Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Hungary.

How much?

To apply for ESTA, you need to pay one $ 14 fee. If the application is not accepted, the cost will not be refunded.

Do minors also have to apply?

Children including infants and in general all minors, just like adults, must obtain an ESTA authorization to enter the United States.

When the ESTA is invalid

If you want to work or study in the United States, or if you are traveling for business reasons, you need to apply for the appropriate visa.

How to apply for ESTA

To obtain the ESTA, you need to fill in an online form (also available in Spanish) which analyzes the information provided by the applicant in order to determine that the individual does not represent a danger in the country.

Online filling of the form to apply for ESTA it only takes a few minutes and it is a simple and safe procedure. Among the required data are those of the passport and travel references such as flight number, address in the United States and reasons for travel.

If you have already applied for an ESTA and it has expired, you can recover the data by entering: name, surname, date of birth, passport number and country of issue of the passport. Also it is possible update the information sent, but not all. Example: travel ticket data can also be added later.

The 5 steps to get the ESTA:
- online completion of the ESTA form
- fee payment
- submission of the online form
- assignment of the file number
- arrival of the response of authorization or non-authorization to travel


In addition to having Spanish citizenship or citizenship of a country covered by the program, it is also necessary to have:

- A electronic passport valid

- the trip to the United States must be shorter than 90 days

- you need to have gods valid travel tickets both for the outward and return journeys

Where to ask the question

The official website to apply for ESTA is:

General Information

ESTA has one maximum validity of 2 years from the moment of obtaining or maximum until the day of expiry of the passport associated with it.

If you renew your passport, the ESTA is no longer valid and a new application must be made. The authorization is linked with the passport number.

The ESTA application must be made at least 72 hours before the trip. However, if you think the application may be refused, it is best to apply a month in advance, in order to have time to apply for the visa.

It is advisable print a copy, may be required by some airlines upon boarding.

Also serves in the case of simple stopover or transit In the USA.

If you are unfamiliar with the compilation you can get help from others too. Pay close attention to filling in, if it is filled in incorrectly or if you forget to enter some data, the application may be rejected.

ESTA does not mean safe entry to the United States. Therefore, it is important to know the other requirements for entry into the United States, as well as the process to follow once you arrive at your destination port or airport. The customs officer, after checking all documents, will stamp the passport certifying free movement in the United States for up to 90 days.

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