Everything you need to know about the validity of the ESTA document

The ESTA document is one of the most important authorizations to enter the United States and many tourists are looking for everything about the ESTA. However, one of the most recurrent questions is the validity of the ESTA.

In Esta.Click you can find a lot of detailed information about this document, but, in today’s post, we tell you everything you need to know about the validity of the ESTA.

How long is the ESTA document valid?

The ESTA authorization is valid for 2 years and allows you to stay in the USA for a maximum of 90 days per stay and up to a maximum of 180 days in the same year.

This means that you can enter the United States several times but each stay cannot exceed 90 days and the total number of days must not exceed 180 per year.

In this regard, it is necessary to know some aspects: once the ESTA application is approved, the travel authorization is valid for 2 years from the date of issuance or until the expiration date of the passport, if it is proceeding.

So, when the passport reaches its expiration date the ESTA will no longer be valid, even if less than 2 years have passed. The same is true when there is a passport withdrawal.

If the ESTA expires while you are in the USA, it is not necessary to apply for a new authorization as the document must be valid at the time of entry into the USA.

It should be noted that the ESTA document can also be withdrawn by customs and border authorities at any time.

How long before I travel do I have to apply for ESTA?

There is no time frame within which you must apply for ESTA to travel to the United States.  Applications can be submitted at any time prior to departure. However, it is advisable to submit the application at least 3 days prior to departure.

Once you have submitted your application, ESTA Visa approval times are relatively short, ranging from a few minutes to a few hours, but, in some cases, times may be extended up to 3 days maximum, during which time immigration officials verify the information submitted. For this reason, and to avoid problems that may delay the trip, with additional costs, it is advisable to process the document at least 3 days in advance.

What to do if my ESTA authorization is denied?

If your ESTA authorization is denied and you need to travel to the US, you will need to apply for a US non-immigrant visa directly at the US embassy or consulate closest to your place of residence. From there, you will be able to process the application for an entry visa to the USA.

The ESTA form is intended to filter out potential terrorists and criminals, so all those who have answered yes or no to the questions relating to these crimes will have their application for ESTA authorization denied. In this regard, it may happen that applicants have made errors or omissions in filling out the ESTA document.

For this reason, a new application can be processed, respecting an interval of 10 days between the two procedures.

The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has carefully developed the ESTA program to ensure that only individuals from countries that are not associated with the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) or those that may pose a risk to internal security may be denied ESTA authorization to enter the USA.

Therefore, it is important that the personal information specified in the passport and on the form match to avoid further rejection.

Only embassies or consulates have the possibility to grant a USA non-immigrant visa after having processed an application and attended an interview. This will be the only way for an individual, whose ESTA application has been denied, to obtain a travel authorization for the USA. If the individual who has failed to obtain an ESTA needs to travel urgently, he/she has the possibility, after demonstrating the reason for the emergency, to apply for an emergency US VISA.

For this reason, it is always advisable to apply for ESTA well in advance of the date of travel to avoid running out of time to apply for a traditional US visa if the ESTA is denied.