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About ESTA - The Electronic System for Travel Authorization
 

Using ESTA

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is now live. You can submit your application at  https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Since 08 September 2010 a fee of U$14 is charged for Visa Waiver Program travelers.

Before attempting to register under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), please first check your eligibility to travel under the Visa Waiver Program.

British citizens:  please note that from 12 January 2009 all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries - including the UK - will be required by law to obtain an ESTA travel authorization prior to traveling to the United States under the VWP. Our Visa section has full details of this on their Visa Waiver Program & ESTA.

If your registration was denied under ESTA please review this information first. 

Help & Guides

 • How-To (PDF - 1.17mb)  Screenshots & guidance
 • Registration Denied Under ESTA
 • Fact Sheet (PDF - 280kb)  2 pages summarizing ESTA
 • ESTA Frequently Asked Questions (PDF - 126kb)
 • Newlyweds Advised to Avoid Post-Dated Passports if Travelling to the U.S.
 • Privacy Impact Assessment (PDF - 322kb)
 • System of Records Notice (PDF - 122kb)

ESTA news

09 August 2010 - A New Fee for Visa Waiver Program Travelers

25 November 2008 The U.S. Customs & Border Protection has produced a video which provides an overview of the ESTA program.
[View video (Windows Media)]

14 January 2009 Making Sure The Honeymoon Isn't Over: Newlyweds Advised to Avoid Post-Dated Passports if Travelling to the U.S.

24 November 2008 ESTA : New Requirements for British Citizens Traveling to the United States (Press release).

24 July 2008 The Electronic System for Travel Authorization
Jackie Bednarz, Attaché, Department of Homeland Security, answers frequently-asked questions about ESTA.
All videos are provided in both Windows-Media (.WMV) and Apple QuickTime (.MOV) format. Windows users who wish to view the QuickTime versions may need to download and install Quicktime from Apple.
A transcript of the FAQs is available.

 


Complete video (Intro with 7 questions, 7:01min)
Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)

 

Question 1: What is ESTA? (1:45 min)
Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)


Question 2: What about the privacy of my data? (0:56 min)
Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)

 

Question 3: What kind of data will ESTA collect? (0:44 min)
Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)


Question 4: What if I need to travel on short notice? (1:20 min)

Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)

 

Question 5: What if I don't have access to a computer or internet? (0:44 min)
Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)


Question 6: What if my ESTA form isn't approved? (1:14 min)
Click here (.wmv)
Click here (.mov)

   

 

24 June 2008 U.S., United Kingdom Border Agencies Agree to Expedite Travel Between Nations  U.S. Customs and Border Protection signed a joint agreement today with the government of the United Kingdom to develop a bilateral pilot program to facilitate travel between the two nations. The International Expedited Traveler Initiative will integrate CBP's Global Entry program with the British registered traveler program.

 

03 June 2008 Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

03 June 2008 DHS announces Pre-Travel Authorization program for U.S.-Bound Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today the Interim Final Rule for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a new online system that is part of the Visa Waiver Program and is required by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.