Traveling to the USA without a Visa is one of the greatest travel freedom benefits that citizens of VWP countries can enjoy.
But to fully enjoy the benefits provided by ESTA, you have to be informed about all ESTA updates, the process of obtaining this travel authorisation and if you already have it, you certainly have to check ESTA status before traveling.
It might seem like a lot to take in at first.
But the truth is that once you understand the basics of ESTA, you will easily find a way to check it’s status and renew it if necessary.
Keep in mind that there is a good reason behind checking your ESTA status and renewing it if necessary. Because if your ESTA is invalid, you will not be granted entry into the US under any circumstances.
Therefore taking the time to do the check-up is crucial if you are looking forward to visiting the USA in the near future.
To successfully travel to the US as a tourist, for business or transit purposes without having to obtain a Visa, you need to learn and understand the following.
Why do you have to check ESTA status
If you travel to the USA from one of the Visa Waiver Program countries, you do not have to obtain a Visa. Instead, you are required to have an ESTA, if your travel plans allow you to use this form of travel authorisation.
But just like a regular Visa, ESTA too has a limited time frame within which can be used. This means, that after your ESTA is expired, you will not be granted entry into the USA.
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What is more, your ESTA needs to be valid for a time, that also covers the time you spend in the USA, not only until the moment you enter the country!
This means that you have to know the expiration date of your ESTA before making further plans to visit the USA. And if you are not completely sure about the status of your ESTA, you have to check ESTA status and complete an ESTA renewal process if necessary.
Our experience shows that many people fail to do this because they do not know the basics of obtaining and using an ESTA or because they lack simple knowledge about the process of checking ESTA status.
The truth is, that doing this check on your ESTA is a lot more simpler than a lot of people think.
How to check ESTA status
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which means that all applications are filled and checked online in a digital form.
And because there is no paperwork included in the process of obtaining, checking and renewing an ESTA, it can be easily done from your home or workplace at any time.
This also allows for a relatively quick checkup of the status of your ESTA. Which means you are not losing time while waiting for answer in form of paper documents! Therefore, if necessary, if you will quickly informed about the need to renew your ESTA which can be also done online.
To check your ESTA status all you have to do is follow this link and fill out the online form.
This process should not take any longer than a couple of minutes, since you only need to show your full name, the date of birth passport no, e-mail address and the country that you are a citizen of.
After filling the online form you will have to wait for an official answer, which will show the current status of your ESTA.
If you are one of the many people who are asking the questions: “Is my ESTA still valid?”, this simple checkup is the way to go and you will receive the answer in a matter of hours at most.
After you receive the answer about your ESTA application status, you can make the decision between traveling with the ESTA you currently hold or going thru the renewal process.
If you need to obtain a new ESTA before traveling to the USA, you have to fill out the original ESTA application form.
After this, you will have to wait for a new ESTA approval which usually takes no longer than 72 hours if there are no problems with the application and your background checks.
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Keep in mind that over time different ESTA updates are implemented and that the list of VWP countries can also be changing. This means that each time you apply for a new ESTA, you should check the latest updates.
This will allow you to avoid any problems with the applications and approval process.
After your ESTA is renewed you will be allowed to travel to the USA for business, travel or transit if your visit does not exceed 90 days and if all other factors of your travel corresponds to the requirements of Visa-free travel to the USA.
When a new ESTA is granted to you, the most important factor to keep in mind is the ESTA expiration date.
How long does an ESTA last
Your ESTA, since the moment it has been approved, is valid for two years or until the moment of your passport expiration.
If your passport expires before your ESTA and you have to obtain a new passport, you will also have to apply for a new ESTA.
Also, keep in mind that within the 2 year expiration period, you can only use your ESTA to visit the USA for no longer than 90 days in one time of travel. But, you can, however, make several trips to the USA with the same ESTA as long as it is valid.
An important thing to keep in mind here is that there are different backgrounds checks done on you every time you travel to the USA. Therefore, ESTA should not be considered as a guarantee for entry into the USA.
This is exactly why it is always important to take the time and check your ESTA and its current status, before traveling to the US.
For more information regarding ESTA status please feel free to contact us with your questions.