About ESTA expiration
1.Does ESTA expire?
An ESTA travel authorization expires two years from the date it was authorized formally. However, this is not the case if your passport will expire within two years. If your passport expires within two years after obtaining an ESTA, then the ESTA also will expire on the expiration date of your passport. For this reason, if you apply for ESTA with less than two years remaining on your passport, then both your passport and the ESTA will expire on the same date. When deciding to travel to the U.S. and apply for an ESTA, be sure to check your passport’s expiration date to make sure that there will be no problems with your planned travel dates.
2.When do I need to reapply for ESTA?
If you intend to use the ESTA program after your ESTA has expired, you must apply for a new one. This is why the term “reapplication” is used instead of “renewal.” There is no system for extending the expiration date of an ESTA through renewal. For this reason, if you plan to use ESTA again to travel to the U.S. without a visa in the future, you will need to reapply for ESTA.
3.What if my ESTA expires while I’m in the U.S.?
There is no need to worry if an ESTA that was valid when you entered the U.S. will expire before you leave the country. You will not need to apply for ESTA again before leaving the U.S. As long as your ESTA was valid when you entered the U.S., there will be no problem even if it has expired by the time you leave the U.S. The same is true when changing to connecting flights in the U.S. There will be no problem as long as your ESTA is valid when you change flights. However, depending on what arrangements have been made with the destination country of the connecting flight, in some cases you might be refused entry to the U.S. or not allowed to board the flight even if you have a valid ESTA if there is not enough time left before your passport will expire. In general, it is recommended that you renew your passport about one year before it expires.
4.May I travel to Guam or Saipan while my ESTA is expired?
While all travelers visiting the continental U.S. and Hawaii without a visa must apply for and receive ESTA authorization first, it is possible to travel to Guam and Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) without using ESTA. To be able to do so, you must be a citizen of a country that is a participant in the Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Visa Waiver Program (Guam-CNMI VWP), and you must have a valid passport. While there are no problems with visiting Guam or Saipan even if your ESTA has expired, upon arrival at the airport travelers with ESTAs are eligible for preferential treatment by using ESTA lanes that greatly shorten the waiting time for immigration screening, which facilitate and speed up the immigration process. Since you can expect long lines at the airports in Guam and Saipan especially during summer vacation and the Japanese New Year’s holidays, it is recommended to apply for ESTA as a way of getting your visit off to a more comfortable start.
5.Does a baby need an ESTA to travel to the U.S.?
All travelers visiting the U.S. without a visa, regardless of their age, must apply for and receive ESTA authorization. ESTA authorization is required for all members of families, or any groups visiting the U.S., including minors, preschool children, and infants, so be sure to apply for ESTA for all members of your group including children. ESTA is valid for two years regardless of age.
Additional information on ESTA expiration and reapplication
Is there a deadline for ESTA renewal or reapplication?
ESTA is valid for two years. You may apply for a new ESTA before or after a previous one has expired. There are no restrictions on the number of times you can obtain a new ESTA authorization which is valid for two years from the date of issue. If you wanted to, you even could apply for a new ESTA again the day after obtaining the previous one.
What if I want to correct my ESTA application information?
For security reasons, U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not permit revision of the information in an ESTA after you have applied for it, even if you later notice a mistake in important information such as your name, nationality, date of birth, or passport information. This is due to heightened security measures in various aspects. If it were possible to change such important information after applying for an ESTA then individuals with malicious intent might be able to change the information in order to board flights without authorization, possibly resulting in an illegal and dangerous situation. Fill out your ESTA application very carefully, since another application fee will be charged if you notice a mistake after completing the application and then reapply with correct information. Information such as email address and your address while in the U.S. are not considered important information, so if you notice an error in such information you do not need to correct it in order to travel to the U.S.
Why have I received an email warning that my ESTA will expire soon even though I already reapplied?
Even if you already have reapplied for ESTA because your current one will expire soon, when the expiration date of the previous ESTA approaches you will receive an email warning you of its expiration. In general, this email, which is sent by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to every party who has obtained ESTA travel authorization, has the subject heading “ESTA Expiration Warning.” This English-language email is sent to the email address you registered with Customs and Border Protection when applying for ESTA. There is no need to be overly concerned about its content. For safety’s sake, however, you should check to make sure that it concerns the expiration date of your previous ESTA and not the one you applied for recently. An excerpt of this email is reproduced below.
The travel authorization submitted on September 20, 2014 via ESTA will expire within the next 30 days. It is not possible to extend or renew a current ESTA travel authorization. You will need to apply for a new ESTA travel authorization.
If there is an error in information such as your date of birth, gender, nationality, country of birth, passport issue date, passport expiration date, contact information (email address, telephone number, type of telephone, emergency contact), or destination information (where you plan to stay)
When using the ESTA Online Center’s service, you can correct the information above even after your ESTA application is completed.
Apply by clicking again on “Apply Here for ESTA” on the homepage of this site and entering all customer information.
After checking to make sure that the information you entered is correct on the Check Application page, click “Send Above Information” to advance to the Check Application Modification page. Both the new information you just entered and the information you entered in the past will be displayed. Check this information again, and if it is correct, click on “Send Changes” to complete submittal of the corrected information.
Note that the screening procedures for correction requests may take up to 72 hours, like those for ESTA applications. Once the screening process is completed for the requested corrections to the ESTA application, new ESTA authorization information (application number and expiration date) will be sent to your registered email address. Be sure to save this authorization information. Also note that when using webmail or mobile email addresses the email confirming receipt of your request might be sorted to the SPAM file.
If you are unable to correct or revise information through the method above, use the Contact Us form to send detailed information on your inquiry after filling out your name, email address, and application ID.
If there is an error in your name or passport number
If there is an error in your name or passport number, use the Contact Us form to send your detailed correction request in the body of your inquiry after filling out your name, email address, and application ID.
Note that the screening procedures for correction requests may take up to 72 hours, like those for ESTA applications. Once the screening process is completed for the requested corrections to the ESTA application, new ESTA authorization information (application number and expiration date) will be sent to your registered email address. Be sure to save this authorization information.
If you have been refused ESTA authorization due to answering a question incorrectly
Contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection directly if you have been refused ESTA authorization because you accidentally answered “Yes” to any of the “Other questions” on the application or you answered “Yes” because you misunderstood the question and mistakenly thought that it applied to you.
Using the contact form on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website (https://help.cbp.gov/app/ask/), describe in detail the reason why you answered “Yes” to the question. If your authorization for the visa waiver program was declined due to an arrest or conviction (a violation such as arrest history, criminal history, and/or possession of drugs), apply for a visa at the U.S. embassy directly. The embassy will review your application and make a judgment as to whether or not to allow your entry to the U.S. on a tourist visa or any other visa. Travelers who have entered false information on an ESTA application may be refused entry during immigration screening in the U.S., even if they were issued ESTA authorization and allowed to board their flight. In some cases, refusal of entry to the U.S. can lead to prohibition of entry for five years. Be sure to fill out the correct information on your ESTA application form.
Summary of ESTA expiration date
ESTA expires after two years for all travelers
It is determined that ESTA authorization is valid for two years for everybody, with no exceptions. However, if your passport will expire in less than two years, your ESTA also will expire on the same date as your passport.
Reapply when your ESTA expires
If two years have passed since you visited the U.S. using ESTA and you plan to visit the U.S. again, reapply for ESTA. However, you do not need to reapply if you plan to visit the U.S. using a visa. If planning to visit the U.S. using ESTA, check the expiration date of your current ESTA and reapply if it has expired.
There is no ESTA renewal system
Many travelers believe mistakenly that they can renew their ESTA if it has expired. However, there is no renewal system for ESTA. While the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website does have a section on “updating” ESTA, this refers to updating information such as the email address, telephone number, and address in the U.S. that you registered when applying for ESTA. It does not mean that you can update your ESTA with an extended expiration date. Since there is no way to extend the ESTA expiration date, reapply for ESTA if yours is about to expire or already has expired.
When reapplying for ESTA before it has expired
There is no restriction on the number of times you may apply for ESTA, even if your current ESTA travel authorization will not expire anytime soon. When you apply for a new ESTA and are issued a new application number and expiration date, the ESTA information that you had been able to use until then will be invalidated and only the ESTA information that you applied for most recently may be used. You may reapply and obtain new ESTA information at any time, even before your current one expires.
When you reapply, your previous ESTA information will be invalidated
While you may apply for a new ESTA even before your current one expires, your previous ESTA information will be invalidated as of the time you receive the new ESTA. It is not possible to recover invalidated ESTA information. When you reapply, you will be assigned a new ESTA expiration date. Make arrangements to reapply by taking into consideration the expiration date of your current ESTA and your future travel plans to the U.S.
There’s no problem even if your ESTA has expired by the date you depart from the U.S.
There’s no problem if your ESTA is expired on the date you depart from the U.S. However, you must enter the U.S. before your ESTA expires. Your ESTA also must be valid when changing flights or making connections in the U.S. Before traveling to the U.S., check the time remaining before your passport expires and the expiration date of your current ESTA.
Key points on ESTA reapplication
Since there is no ESTA renewal system, conduct application procedures again if your ESTA has expired or your current one will expire soon. You may apply for an ESTA again even if considerable time remains until your current one expires. However, when you reapply your existing registration information will be invalidated and you will be issued new ESTA information with a new expiration date. Check the expiration dates of your passport and your current ESTA before reapplying.
You can travel to Guam and Saipan even without an ESTA
While you must apply for ESTA to travel to Hawaii, it is possible to enter the U.S. territories of Guam and Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) without an ESTA. However, there are various advantages to applying for ESTA when completing immigration procedures, such as greatly reduced wait times. Applying for ESTA in advance is recommended for travelers visiting Guam and Saipan during busy periods such as summer vacation and the Japanese New Year’s holidays, especially those traveling with small children.
Key points on traveling to Guam and Saipan
Since the establishment of the Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Visa Waiver Program (Guam-CNMI VWP) in November 2009, it has been possible to stay in Guam and Saipan for up to 45 days even without an ESTA or a visa. Besides, if you have applied for ESTA, you will be allowed to stay for up to 90 days. However, obtaining a visa, not ESTA, is required for those planning to work or to engage in business in Guam or Saipan for which wages or other compensation occurs.
While as noted above ESTA expires in two years, a visa expires in three months. After obtaining a visa, you need to complete immigration screening in your own country for re-entry before it expires. In general, a visa is valid for only one entry, therefore you will need to apply for another visa if you plan to return to the U.S. again or to travel to another country after departing from the U.S. After you obtain a visa, it will expire in three months, and this expiration date cannot be extended. Travelers planning to visit the U.S. multiple times during the course of the year or planning to do business that involves local employment should consider obtaining a visa instead of ESTA.
Travelers who require visas
Travelers visiting the U.S., including Guam, Saipan, and Hawaii, for purposes such as employment or studying abroad require visas, not ESTA. In addition, those with a history of arrest for involvement in a serious incident, currently involved in serious litigation, or those with serious diseases, should consider applying for a visa, because it might be difficult for such travelers to obtain ESTA travel authorization. You still may apply for a visa if you have applied for ESTA and have been denied travel authorization. However, the decision on whether or not to permit travel to the U.S. on a visa will be made by a consulate in your country. In addition, generally a visa will expire three months after it has been issued, so be sure that you can complete immigration screening for travel to and from your destination before this expiration date. As with the ESTA expiration date, be sure to check the expiration date for travel when obtaining a visa as well.