About ESTA (Electric System for Travel Authorization)


About ESTA (Electric System for Travel Authorization)

About the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

What is ESTA (Electric System for Travel Authorization)?

ESTA is an immigration pre-screening system under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and is required for short-term travel to the U.S.
If you are traveling to the U.S. for general sightseeing or short-term business, ESTA allows you to enter the country without obtaining a visa. ESTA is an immigration pre-screening system that is mandatory for all ages when you wish to stay in the U.S. for 90 days or less, while you need to apply for a visa instead if your purpose is to work or study.
Individuals who wish to reside in the U.S. permanently are also not eligible for ESTA and should consider applying for an appropriate visa for their purpose.Please refer to the following for notes on ESTA applications.

Nationals of VWP countries are exempt from obtaining a visa for tourism or short-term business travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days. Eligible travelers are required to apply for ESTA, so be sure to complete the procedure as soon as possible. It is also mandatory to apply for ESTA even when you are only transiting in the U.S. and heading to a third country. In addition, if you have a serious criminal record or are suffering from an infectious disease, you should be aware that your application might get denied even if you are a citizen of the VWP countries.

  • ESTA is generally valid for 2 years from the date of approval. However, if your passport expires within 2 years, your ESTA will also expire on the passport expiration date.
  • If you change your surname due to marriage or other reasons and obtain a new passport, you will need to apply for a new ESTA with your new passport number.
  • ESTA applications are only available online and are not accepted by phone. Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and you will usually receive the results within 72 hours.
  • There are cases where ESTA is denied even for nationals of the VWP countries. If you receive a “travel authorization rejected” notice after applying, please consider applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy.
  • It is recommended to complete the visa application process as soon as possible since obtaining visas required to travel to the U.S. can take one month or more. For more information on obtaining a visa, please refer to “Types of U.S. Visas (Nonimmigrant Visa Applications) and How to Apply”.

Countries participating in the visa waiver program

Great Britain, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, Poland, Croatia, Israel

ESTA Application Requirements

  • Purpose of travel to the U.S. must be for general tourism or short-term business
  • The duration of stay in the U.S. must be less than 90 days (except for work or study)
  • The applicant must be a citizen of countries participating in the VWP and possess a passport with a valid IC chip
  • Have no serious criminal record in the past, and must not be suffering from contagious diseases or illnesses as defined by the U.S.
  • Have no intention to stay in the U.S. for a long period of time and return to their home country after completing the purpose of their visit

Required Documents and Application Process for ESTA

You will need your passport and credit card to apply for ESTA. The passport information on the application form must be the ESTA applicant’s own information. Even when minors applying for ESTA, it is required to enter their own passport information, not that of a parent or guardian. Make sure that your passport is valid and has an IC chip when applying.
ESTA can be applied through our ESTA U.S. Customer Service website. For the application procedure, please refer to “Guide for filling out the ESTA application form – Q&A“. For payment, it can only be made by credit card (Visa, Master Card, JCB, American Express). If the applicant does not have a credit card, payment can be made with a credit card other than his/her own.

More information for the Visa Waiver Program, please check here.

ESTA expiration date and application period

ESTA is valid for 2 years from the date of approval, and multiple trips to the US are permitted within the period. However, it is important to note that if your passport is valid for 2 years or less, your ESTA will also expire on the day your passport expires. We usually recommend that you apply for an ESTA after renewing your passport if it expires within six months. CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), which has jurisdiction over ESTA, recommends that you apply at least 72 hours before departure, so be sure to complete the procedure when the trip is scheduled.

More information for ESTA expiration, please check here.

ESTA application service

The ESTA U.S. Customer Service offers its clients full support for complex ESTA application procedures, 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.
Its expert staff provides thorough advice for those unaccustomed to traveling to the U.S. or uncertain about completing the application procedures themselves. Using the application service on this site provides the following advantages and added value compared with applying directly by oneself.

  • Compatibility with all devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets)
  • Support provided 24 hours/day, 365 days/year
  • Ability to retry the application if the CBP site is undergoing maintenance
  • Support for resolving irregularities or errors in application procedures
  • Unlimited number of free responses to your queries
  • Results of application provided by email
  • The ability to check on application and payment status
  • Free correction of errors in registration information.
More information for ESTA Price, please check here.
Apply for ESTA here

UPDATE : 2024/07/12