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 (the Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is a mandatory system required by the Department of Homeland Security since January 12, 2009 for all foreign visitors traveling to the United States without visas. Visitors must ap-ply ESTA prior to departure.Travelers visiting the U.S. (including Hawaii) on a short-term basis of no longer than 90 days (including those changing flights for other destinations) for business or sightseeing are exempt from visa acquisi-tion at the U.S. embassy, but must apply for authorization online in advance. ESTA is the system to provide travel authorization prior to departure. However, those who already have a visa issued by the U.S. embassy do not need to ap-ply for ESTA for the entry to the U.S. The U.S. Department of Homeland Se-curity recommends that travelers apply for ESTA to the U.S. at least 72 hours prior to their entry so they would be able to receive it on time.

How does ESTA application work?

STEP 1 Enter application information

Enter ESTA application information by following the guidance on application page. Start to apply after go through “Agreements for ESTA application” on application page.

STEP 2 Payment

After completing ESTA application, payment page will be shown. Select the credit card to make payment and proceed. The credit card does not have to be in the name of the applicant.

STEP 3 Screening of the application

You will be notified of the ESTA application result to your registered email address promptly. To travel to the U.S. by ESTA becomes available when it is approved on U.S CBP official site.

STEP 4 Completion of the travel application

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.

What is ESTA authorization?

What is ESTA authorization? ESTA is an electronic authorization system that makes it possible for travelers to enter the U.S. for short-term business or sightseeing purposes without visa. It is a part of VWP (Visa Waiver Program) established by the U.S., and requires for online travel authorization acquisition in advance. Those citizens of the countries participating in the VWP are waived of visa acquisition by meeting the requirements such as purpose and staying period. Those travelers visiting U.S. including Hawaii within 90 days of sightseeing or short-term business are able to apply ESTA instead of visa. Compare to visa, ESTA application is simpler and able to have it in shorter period. No matter of the age, all citizens of the countries participating in the VWP who are going to the U.S. without visa are required for ESTA. Complete the application no later than 3 days prior to your departure date. This site provides a service for ESTA application on your behalf, and make it possible to obtain travel authorization quickly with simple application form. Although ESTA can be applied by yourself at official site of U.S. CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection), Japanese is not available when contact. Please apply through U.S. CBP official site when apply for ESTA on your own. More information for visa waiver program, please check here.

When visa acquisition is required

When a visa is needed ESTA application has some conditions under U.S. government. Those travelers who are subjected to followings should obtain visa instead of ESTA for the entry to the U.S. A person with serious communicable diseases or a mental disorder. A person who has been convicted to serious crime, unlawful or immoral acts, or violation of restrictions on drugs. A person who have overstayed in the U.S. under ESTA authorization. A person who has been, or in the past, involved in espionage, subversion, terrorism, or genocide. A person who was a part of illegal acts of the fraud for visa or ESTA acquisition in the past. If you are subjected to one of these cases, ESTA application may be denied based on certain rules by U.S. CBP. Even when travel authorization was denied, there were some cases the person was permitted the entry to the U.S. by obtaining a visa, however, if you have a history of overstay it will not be the case for visa application. A person who stayed in the U.S. for more than 180 days to 1 year is not allowed the entry to the country for 3 years from the date you left the country. A person who overstayed more than 1 year is prohibited to enter the country for 10 years from the date you left the U.S. The person who is subjected to should contact U.S. embassy/Consulate general in Japan. For differences of ESTA and visa, check here.

Remarks of ESTA application

Applying for ESTA ESTA has different system and condition from visa, and it can be received within few days from the date you apply. Compare to visa, ESTA application is simple and convenient electric authorization system for short-term visit and business trip to the U.S. The U.S CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) and airlines strongly recommend to complete your ESTA application 3 days prior to your departure date. Basically, the person who has not completed ESTA application at the time of the departure is not allowed to be on board. In general, you will be notified of whether or not your travel authorization to enter the U.S. has been granted within 72 hours after you apply. If the authorization were assigned pending during the U.S. CBP screening process, it may take up to 3 days till the notice of result. Also, a large-scale system maintenance is proceed on U.S. CBP site on a regular basis. Apply for ESTA once you decided your trip to U.S. since it may take longer till receive the notice of result during the period, and also when having large number of people access the site in the same time. There are some points to note when a family member or representative of a group to apply for ESTA on behalf of whole family/group members. For more information, please check ESTA group/ family application.

ESTA renewal and reapplication

ESTA renewal and reapplication ESTA is applied online by filling out the form of requirements such as your name, date of birth, and passport number. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the entry, and it requires valid passport, credit card, and send/receive-able email address. An applicant’s name must be exactly the same as what is on the passport. If you ask a family member or someone on your behalf to apply for your ESTA, make sure to enter applicant’s name and passport information. A smartphone and a tablet have small screen and tend to have mistake when enter the information. We recommend to use PC for ESTA application, however, if you use smartphone or tablet, please check here. Since ESTA screening is done by U.S. CBP, application information must be entered all in English (roman alphabet). Enter your name in all capital letter, exactly same as what is on the passport. However, credit card for ESTA application payment can be different from the applicant’s and it does not effect the screening. Make sure to have card holder’s agreement before make payment for application. For details of ESTA application, please check here.

ESTA expiration date

ESTA expiration date ESTA is valid for two years from the date of travel authorization acquisition. However, if your passport which you applied ESTA with expires within 2 years, ESTA will expire on the same date of passport’s expiration date. ESTA does not have renewal system. A person who plans to visit U.S. including Hawaii and has expired ESTA need to re-apply for ESTA. When you re-apply ESTA, old information is deleted and new expiration date with new ESTA information is provided. Please check both of your passport and ESTA expiration dates when re-apply for ESTA. There is no problem if ESTA expires by the time of your return from the U.S. However, a person with expired ESTA is not allowed to be on board when departing your own country. Also, if you have a passport expiring within 6 months may be rejected the transit through U.S. or entry to the 3rd country. As a guide, when travel we recommend to renew your passport if the expiration date is less than 1 year. Information for ESTA expiration date, please check here.

Visa Waiver Program countries

Europe

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Spain
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Finland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Malta
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Andorra
  • San Marino
  • Lithuania
  • Czech Republic
  • Monaco
  • Iceland
  • Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Hungary
  • Luxembourg
  • Poland

Southeast Asia

  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Brunei
  • Singapore

Oceania

  • Australia
  • New Zealand

South America

  • Chile

About ESTA (the Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

It is a screening system for those who like to travel to US to make sure they are safe and competence for the entry to the country. ESTA application is required when traveling to the US.

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 completed application

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 application/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 application/family application

ESTA application fee

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 application fee

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)

ESTA authorization must be obtained before traveling to Hawaii for up to 90 days for business or sightseeing purposes or changing flights in Hawaii, in the same way as when traveling to the continental U.S.

Visiting Hawaii (immigration screening and ESTA)

Visiting Guam (immigration screening and ESTA)

This page explains whether or not ESTA authorization is needed for travelers visiting Guam. It also explains other preparatory procedures, customs and immigration screening, and other information.

Visiting Guam (immigration screening and ESTA)

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

ESTA reapplication

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.

ESTA reapplication

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 ESTA application required?

ESTA is an electronic system for travel authorization required for travelers to the U.S. for sight-seeing etc. Those travelers who wish to enter the U.S. including Hawaii and are citizens of coun-tries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to apply for ESTA no matter of 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 in-cluding 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 ESTA by?

Usually, you will be notified of whether or not your authorization to enter the U.S. has been granted within 72 hours after you apply. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly rec-ommend to apply ESTA at least 3 days prior to your date of travel. ESTA can be applied even before your traveling date and staying place are decided. There were cases that some groups/families needed to cancel their flight to the U.S. right before their trip since one of the members’ ESTA application was not completed. Please make sure to double check if all your group members completed ESTA application 3 days prior to the departure in order to have your travel as planned.
Information for when to apply ESTA, please check “When should I apply ESTA by?

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 follow:

  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 author-ized entry to the U.S. by ESTA for some reasons.
The person who is under examination would be shown as “Travel Authorization on hold” on your screen, and may take up to 72 hours till receive the notice of the result. Although the person who received 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 expected to be de-clined. In this case, please apply visa at 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 the entry to the country. Whether you are eligible to enter the country or not will be depending on the immigration officer of CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) at the ar-rival airport. Although it is not necessary to show ESTA application number to the immigration officer, please keep the number with you on your note. Those who already obtain 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 family member or someone to apply for ESTA for me?

ESTA can be applied by your family member or acquaintance on your be half.
In that case, please give your correct information which are necessary for the application such as your passport, date of birth, address, and birth place. 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 all in English (Roman alphabet). Those who are not familiar with English, ask your family or someone whom you can share your personal information with. A name of the credit card for making payment of application fee can be different from the applicant, 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 main land U.S. ESTA has a different character from visa and it can make your travel simple by obtaining it for up to 90 days of your trip to Hawaii. ESTA is an “Electric System for Travel Authorization” re-quired when travel to the U.S. including Hawaii, and it does not guarantee the entry to the coun-try. Whether you are eligible to enter the country or not will be depending on the immigration officer at the arrival airport. Please answer clearly and give required information such as purpose of your visit and staying period etc. ESTA application is required for every single person no mat-ter of your age. If you plan to visit Hawaii as a family or a group, make sure all the members to apply for ESTA.
For more information of trip to Hawaii, please check “Hawaii immigration and ESTA application”.

I have a valid U.S.visa, but do I still need ESAT for entry?

Those who already obtain valid visa for staying U.S. do not need to apply for ESTA. If you have visa for 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. over 90 days would be out of subject to ESTA. If you wish to say in the U.S. over 90 days for sight-seeing or business, B-visa (general non-immigrant visa)is required.
For more information of 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 is expired?

ESTA authorization is valid up to two years from the date of “Travel Authorization” acquisition. If you do not have plan to visit the U.S. after ESTA is expired, you do not need to re-apply for ES-TA. Apply it again when you plan to travel to the U.S. ESTA does not have “renewal” system. When ESTA is expired you need to “re-apply” by filling out the new form and pay 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 up to 90 days of short-stay and it must be for sightseeing or business. Those who wish to work as a part-time or full-time would be out of subject to ESTA application and that is even within 90 days of staying period, and for that, you must obtain visa instead of ESTA. ESTA is a “Electric System for Travel Authorization” necessary for the visit to the U.S., and it has different character and requirement from visa.
Information of differences between ESTA and visa, check “Differences between ESTA and visa”.

What is Visa Waiver Program (VWP) ?

Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a system only for those who are citizens of countries having good relationship with U.S. exempted from visa application procedures with some 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 sight-seeing 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 following conditions;

  1. Must have a valid passport
  2. Purpose of visit must be for sightseeing or 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 of Visa Waiver Program (VWP), please check “What is Visa Waiver Program (VWP) ?

Payment Methods

Payment for the ESTA (Electric System for Travel Authorization) application fee will be made by credit card (VISA、MasterCard、JCB、AmericanExpress) . Credit card payment will be made safely by latest SSL technology to be all encrypted personal information including credit card number.

  • ESTA Online Center supports clients with ESTA application that is 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 US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)・US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). US CBP FAQ list
  • Our site is providing ESTA application service, which is difficult and uneasy to deal, on behalf of the clients. (Service fee will apply)
  • The ESTA application service fee includes $21 of Electric System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) fee from US Department of Homeland Security・US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP).

Privacy Policy

The ESTA Online Center (“Site” hereinafter) has established this Privacy Policy to manage customers’ personal information properly. Based on an understanding of this Basic Policy, the Site will handle personal information by thoroughly striving to protect these information. The details of such efforts are outlined below. This site complies with the Personal Information Protection Law and related laws and regulations, Japanese Industrial Standards “Requirements for Personal Information Protection Management System” (JISQ15001), and collects and uses customer personal information for the purpose of acting as an ESTA application procedure. This information is used for applications to the DHS (United States Department of Homeland Security) system, confirmation and inquiry of customer inquiries, replying to inquiries, smooth provision of this site service and business management and keep it to the minimum necessary.The information that we collect from customers is as follows. Name (passport notation), address, date of birth, gender, nationality, birth information, Email address, telephone number, accommodation information, employment information, passport information (passport number, passport issuance date, passport expiration date), SNS account Information, parents' name, medical history of infectious diseases, history of violations of laws and regulations, history of anti-state acts such as intelligence activities, intention to work in the United States, past refusal of entry to the United States, past stay in the United States, identification travel history to the country, inquiry history of this site, etc. Unless otherwise requested by the customer, this site will store the personal information we have received for a certain period of time. We may delete his/her personal information after a certain period of time, in accordance with laws, government agencies, court orders, or in accordance with the standards established by this site. If you wish your personal information to be deleted immediately, please request from the inquiry form.Personal information received from customers will not be disclosed to any third party in any cases. However, the following cases are excluded. ① When the user has consented to such disclosure. ② When there is an order from law, government agency, or court. If the customer asks for confirmation or correction of personal information by himself / herself, this site will respond appropriately after confirming the identity in accordance with the terms of service established on this site. This site is not responsible for the security of personal information on other websites linked to this site. Please check the rules of how to handle personal information at each link for your own safety.

UPDATE:2021/6/29