ESTA Application for U.S. | Electronic System for Travel Authorization

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Complete your ESTA application
3 days prior to departure

Apply for ESTA
at least 72 hours prior to departure

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is required
for the entry to the United States

ESTA is an electronic travel authorization system required for short-term travel to the United States. Officially known as the "Electronic System for Travel Authorization," it was introduced in January 2009 under the jurisdiction of the DHS (U.S. Department of Homeland Security). ESTA requires all foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. without a visa to apply online in advance. The U.S. designates allied countries as eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Citizens of VWP countries are exempt from obtaining a visa for a stay of up to 90 days when traveling to the U.S., including Hawaii, for tourism or short-term business purposes. When you travel to the U.S., you are required to apply for ESTA online and obtain a "Travel Authorization" in advance. However, VWP subjects who fall under the following categories are not allowed to travel to the U.S. using ESTA. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.
  • Those who have traveled to or stayed in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, or Cuba on or after March 1, 2011 (unless you traveled to these countries to perform official duties as a military or government employee of a country covered by the VWP)
  • Dual nationals who are nationals of a VWP country and either Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.

The DHS (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) recommends that you apply for ESTA at least three days prior to travel and obtain a "Travel Authorization”. ESTA is required for all travelers to the U.S., including Hawaii, regardless of age, so we recommend that you apply as soon as possible. ESTA is under the jurisdiction of the DHS (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection). Please note that the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General are not available to answer questions or inquiries.

ESTA Application Instructions

STEP 1 Application

Please follow the instructions on the application form and complete the form after confirming the “Agreement for ESTA Application”. For more information on how to apply, click here.

STEP 2 Payment

After entering the application information, you will be redirected to the “Payment Page”. Please enter your credit card information and complete the payment process.

STEP 3 Screening

You will receive a notification to your registered email address that your application has been accepted. Please allow up to 72 hours for your application to be reviewed.

STEP 4 Completion

The ESTA application is completed when you receive the email of travel authorization. Make note of your ESTA information listed on email. Application status can be checked here.

Points to note for ESTA application

Applying for ESTA ESTA is an electronic travel authorization system that differs from visas in its system and requirements and is convenient for short-term travel to the U.S. and business trips because it can be obtained within a few days of application. The U.S. CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) and airlines recommend that you complete the ESTA application at least three days prior to departure. Please note that as a rule, those who have not completed an ESTA application at the time of departure will not be allowed to board an airplane. In addition, the U.S. CBP site undergoes periodic system maintenance. During the period or when access to the site is concentrated, it may take some time for the results to be reviewed. Please see here for what to keep in mind when a representative of a family or group applies for ESTA for all accompanying persons.

What is required for ESTA application?

ESTA renewal and reapplication When applying for ESTA, you will be asked to enter your name, date of birth, passport number, etc. The process takes about 10 minutes and requires a valid passport, a credit card, and an e-mail address that allows for smooth transmission and reception. Since smartphones and tablet devices have small screens and are prone to input errors, we recommend that you apply using a computer. Please click here for points to note when applying using other than a computer. The credit card used for payment will not affect the screening and may be in a name other than the applicant's own. For more information on how to apply for ESTA, please click here.

ESTA expiration date

ESTA expiration date ESTA is valid for two years from the date of approval of the Travel Authorization. Please note that if the passport used at the time of application is valid for less than two years, ESTA will also expire on the passport expiration date. In addition, since there is no renewal system for ESTA, it is necessary to apply for a new ESTA when it expires. If your passport is valid for less than one year, we recommend that you apply for ESTA after renewing your passport. For more information on the expiration date of ESTA, please refer to "ESTA Expiration Date and Reapplication”.

About ESTA

It is a screening system that verifies the eligibility of foreign nationals who wish to travel to the U.S. and ensures that they do not pose any security risks. Japanese nationals must apply for ESTA when traveling to the U.S.

About ESTA

Applying for ESTA/Sample

This page describes how to apply for ESTA, with images of the application page and completed application samples to be referred when apply. The application method is explained in an easy-to understand manner.

Applying for ESTA/Sample

Applying for ESTA from your smartphone

ESTA can also be applied from a smartphone. This page describes how to apply for ESTA from your smartphone, for those without personal computers at home or those who would prefer to apply by smartphone.

Applying for ESTA from your smartphone

Group / family application

On the official Customs and Border Protection website, you can apply ESTA as a group, not just as an individual. This page explains the group application process. Please check here for family trips.

Group / family application

ESTA Price

This page describes payment methods on this site, application service charges, the cancellation policy, and how to have a receipt issued. Please check here for available credit cards.

ESTA Price

Description of ESTA payment methods

This page describes payment methods and credit cards, as well as frequent mistakes and error messages and how to resolve them. Please check here for details of the payment method.

Description of ESTA payment methods

Visiting Hawaii (immigration screening and ESTA)

Here is the latest information on the process for entering Hawaii via international airports, including details on immigration screening, required documentation for entry, and ESTA applications.

Visiting Hawaii

Travel to Guam (immigration screening and ESTA)

This section explains the benefits of applying for ESTA when traveling to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the required immigration documents, and screening details.

Visiting Guam

When unable to confirm ESTA registration

Some reasons are thought about if the status of the registration could not be confirmed after completing the application for ESTA. Detailed explanation of the reasons and the countermeasure will be followed.

When unable to confirm ESTA registration

What to do if ESTA authorization is refused

Due to the threat of global terrorism and other factors, ESTA screening procedures are becoming increasingly strict. This page describes what to do if your authorization to visit the U.S. is refused.

What to do if ESTA authorization is refused

Authorization pending

Result of the ESTA application will be grouped into three patterns. Please take a look at this page before re-applying for ESTA in case your travel authorization status became on hold.

Authorization pending

About ESTA expiration

This page describes how to revise the content of an ESTA application and reapply if you have noticed a mistake in your registration information after completion of the ESTA application process.

About ESTA expiration

ESTA renewal

This page describes how to renew an expired ESTA authorization. Note that procedures differ depending on the status of your authorization and your purpose for renewal.

ESTA renewal

How to submit inquiries

We are open for any questions regarding ESTA and traveling to the US. Fill out the inquiry form and send it to us.

How to submit inquiries

Applying for a U.S. visa

If you plan to visit the U.S. for a period or purposes beyond the requirements for ESTA, you must first obtain an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa for permanent or temporary residence status.

Applying for a U.S. visa

Visas

Passport is a certificate of traveler’s identity and nationality, and visa is for entry authorization permitting to the entry to the visiting country. Here describes difference of passport and visa.

Visas

E-1 visas

Those desiring to visit the U.S. as resident employees or to engage in trade with the U.S. must obtain E1 visa. Various types of visas necessary for staying in the U.S. are described.

E-1 visas

B1/B2 visas

These are the most common visas issued by the U.S., useful for a broad range of purposes. B1 visas are intended for short-term business travel, while B2 visas are intended mainly for sightseeing.

B1/B2 visas

About the Customs and Border Protection Global Entry Program

The Global Entry (GE) Program is an immigration pre-screening program developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

About the Customs and Border Protection Global Entry

Passport types and conditions

Do you have, or have you applied for, a passport? You can apply for passport renewal beginning one year prior to your passport’s expiration date. Please check your passport details.

Passport types and conditions

Letter of consent to travel to the U.S. for a minor

A letter of consent to travel is requested for a minor traveling to the U.S. alone or with only one parent. If you are a guardian, please check before your child travels.

Letter of consent to travel to the U.S. for a minor

DS160 form: Sample

Use the DS160 visa application system if you want to stay in the U.S., including the continental U.S., Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan, on a long-term basis for purposes such as studying abroad or employment.

Sample completed DS160 form

Entering contact information in the U.S.

This page provides reference information on how to enter your contact information in the U.S. (the “Home Address” line) when applying for ESTA. Please check the description method.

Entering contact information in the U.S.

The visa waiver program (VWP)

The visa waiver program (VWP) allows travelers who satisfy certain conditions to visit the U.S. through simplified procedures, without obtaining a visa. Please confirm the target citizens and conditions.

About the visa waiver program (VWP)

Frequently Asked Questions about ESTA

When is an ESTA application required?
ESTA is an electronic system for travel authorization required for travelers to the U.S. for sightseeing etc. Those travelers who wish to enter the U.S. including Hawaii and are citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to apply for ESTA no matter your age. The maximum staying period in the U.S. with ESTA is 90 days. Work is not allowed if you enter the U.S. with ESTA. Those who plan to stay in the U.S. for over 90 days, for work including a part-time job, and as an exchange student are not subjected to ESTA application. Please apply visa suit for your purpose.
When should I apply for ESTA?
Usually, you will be notified of whether your authorization to enter the U.S. has been granted within 72 hours after you apply. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends applying ESTA at least 3 days prior to your date of travel. ESTA can be applied even when your traveling date and staying place are undecided. There were cases in which some groups/families needed to cancel their flight to the U.S. right before their trip since one of the members’ ESTA applications was not completed. Please make sure to double-check if all your group members completed the ESTA application 3 days prior to the departure to have your travel as planned.
Information for on when to apply ESTA, please check “When should I apply ESTA?
How long does it take to receive ESTA approval from the day I applied?
When you apply for ESTA through our online site, usually the result is sent within 24 hours. There are 2 patterns of ESTA application results as follows:
  1. The person who received the notice of “Travel Authorization Approved” is granted for travel to the U.S.
  2. The person who received the notice of “Travel Authorization was Denied” did not get authorized entry to the U.S. by ESTA for some reason.
The person who is under examination will be shown as “Travel Authorization on hold” on your screen and may take up to 72 hours to receive the notice of the result. Although the person who received the result as “Travel Authorization was Denied”, re-application becomes available after 24 hours from the notice of the result, however, entry to the U.S. with ESTA is expected to be declined. In this case, please apply for a visa at the U.S. embassy/ U.S. Consulate.
Is my entry to the U.S. guaranteed by obtaining ESTA authorization?
ESTA is an “Electric System for Travel Authorization” required for travel to the U.S., and it does not guarantee entry to the country. Whether you are eligible to enter the country or not will depend on the immigration officer of CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) at the arrival airport. Although it is not necessary to show the ESTA application number to the immigration officer, please keep the number with you on your note. Those who already obtained a valid visa for staying U.S. do not need to apply for ESTA.
I am not so familiar with how to use PC, is it OK to ask a family member or someone to apply for ESTA for me?
ESTA can be applied by your family member or acquaintance on your behalf.
In that case, please give the correct information which is necessary for the application such as your passport, date of birth, address, and birthplace. You can apply for ESTA before deciding where to stay. Since ESTA is examined by U.S. CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), you must fill out the form in English (Roman alphabet). For those who are not familiar with English, ask your family or someone whom you can share your personal information with. The name of the credit card for making payment of the application fee can be different from the applicant’s, and it does not affect the screening.
I am planning on my visit to Hawaii, can I enter the U.S. without having ESTA?
Those travelers who wish to visit Hawaii and are citizens of countries participating in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) are required to apply for ESTA prior to travel as well as mainland U.S. Obtaining an ESTA is different from getting a visa and can simplify travel for trips up to 90 days to Hawaii. ESTA is an “Electric System for Travel Authorization” required when traveling to the U.S. including Hawaii, and it does not guarantee entry to the country. Whether you are eligible to enter the country or not will depend on the immigration officer at the arrival airport. Please answer clearly and give the required information such as the purpose of your visit and staying period etc. ESTA application is required for every single person no matter your age. If you plan to visit Hawaii as a family or a group, make sure all the members apply for ESTA. For more information on a trip to Hawaii, please check “Hawaii immigration and ESTA application”.
I have a valid U.S. visa, but do I still need ESTA for entry?
Those who already obtained a valid visa for staying U.S. do not need to apply for ESTA. If you have a visa for a long stay for work or being an exchange student in the U.S. including Hawaii, entry by visa is permitted. No matter the purpose of the visit, all those who wish to stay in the U.S. for over 90 days are not qualified to apply for ESTA. If you wish to stay in the U.S. for over 90 days for sightseeing or business, a B-visa (general non-immigrant visa) is required. For more information on B-visa, please check “B1/B2-Visa (non-immigrant visa/business sight-seeing visa in U.S.)
Do I need to re-apply for ESTA when it has expired?
ESTA authorization is valid up to two years from the date of “Travel Authorization” acquisition. If you do not have a plan to visit the U.S. after ESTA has expired, you do not need to re-apply for ESTA. Apply it again when you plan to travel to the U.S. ESTA does not have a “renewal” system. When ESTA expires you need to “re-apply” by filling out the new form and paying for application fee. For more information, please check “Expiration date and re-application of ESTA”.
Can I work in the U.S. by holding ESTA?
Entry to the U.S. by ESTA is only valid for up to 90 days of short-stay and it must be for sightseeing or business. Those who wish to work part-time or full-time are not eligible to apply for ESTA even within 90 days of their stay. Therefore, you must obtain a visa instead of ESTA. ESTA is an “Electric System for Travel Authorization” necessary for a visit to the U.S., and it has different characteristics and requirements from a visa. For information on differences between ESTA and visa, check “Differences between ESTA and visa”.
What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a system only for those with conditions. ESTA (Electric System for Travel Authorization) was introduced in 2009 as a part of VWP.
Those citizens of countries participating in the visa waiver program who wish to travel for sightseeing or business are exempted from visa application procedures and may travel to the U.S. including Hawaii using the simplified ESTA authorization system.
However, they must satisfy the following conditions;
  1. Must have a valid passport
  2. The purpose of the visit must be for sightseeing or a short-term business trip
  3. Period of stay in the U.S. including Hawaii must be no longer than 90 days
  4. Must possess an air or sea ticket to the next destination or return
For more details on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), please check “What is Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

Payment Methods

Payment for the ESTA application fee will be made by credit card (VISA、MasterCard、JCB、American Express). Credit card payments will be made safely with the latest SSL technology to be all encrypted personal information including credit card numbers.

  • ESTA Online Center supports clients with ESTA applications that can be difficult to understand and follow up till the completion of the application.
  • ESTA application screening may take up to 72 hours the longest, and we recommend applying for it in advance.
  • For related ESTA information, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) website page of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)・US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). US CBP FAQ list
  • Our site provides ESTA application service, which is difficult and uneasy to deal with, on behalf of the clients. (Service fee will apply)
  • The ESTA application service fee includes a $21 Electric System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) fee from the US Department of Homeland Security・US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP).
UPDATE : 2024/04/27