On this page, you will find a how-to-guide which explains the process of applying for an individual ESTA
Upon arriving to the ESTA website, you will be presented with a box on the right hand side of the page which states ‘OFFICIAL ESTA APPLICATION’, within that box, there will be two options: ‘NEW APPLICATION’ & ‘CHECK EXISTING APPLICATION’.
If this is your first time applying for ESTA or your previous ESTA has expired, you will choose the ‘NEW APPLICATION’ option.
New ESTA Application
After clicking on the ‘NEW APPLICATION’ option, you will be directed to the section of the page where the ESTA applications begin. There, you will be presented with two more options.
- INDIVIDUAL APPLICATION
- GROUP OF APPLICATIONS
Next, you will be be presented with a ‘SECURITY NOTIFICATION’. You should make sure to read this notification before you proceed.
Within the contents of the security notification, you will advised that you are about to enter the Department of Homeland Security computer system.
Once you have read through the notification and you are satisfied with the information presented to you, click ‘CONFIRM AND CONTINUE’.
If, however, you are not satisfied with the information presented in the security notification, click ‘CANCEL & EXIT’ and the application process will come to an end.
In addition to the ‘SECURITY NOTIFICATION’, once you have clicked ‘CONFIRM & CONTINUE’, you will then see terms and conditions in the form of a ‘Disclaimer’ and ‘The Travel Promotion Act of 2009’.
The information in the Disclaimer mentions, that all information provided by you or by somebody on your behalf must be absolutely correct. The disclaimer also mentions that you must not apply for a change of nonimmigrant status, an extension of stay or adjustment of status to temporary or permanent resident, unless eligible under section 245(c)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 disclaimer breaks down the cost of the $14 that you will pay for your ESTA. The disclaimer also mentions the payment methods for the application.
Once you have accepted the terms and conditions and you’re comfortable with them, you will click ‘Yes, I have read and understand the information and agree to these terms.’ for both options, followed by clicking ‘NEXT’ at the bottom of the page.
After completing the ‘Disclaimers’ section of the application form, you will continue to the ‘Applicant Information’ section of the application. Here, you will be asked to fill out the application form for your ESTA with personal information.
- All fields that have a red asterisk * are required.
- All information should be completed in English.
- To fill in the application will take up to 20 minutes.
- You will need your passport and a credit card.
If you leave the application page at any time, the application will not be saved and you will have to start from the beginning.
Information you will be asked for an ESTA Application
- Your family name
- Your first name
- Your gender
- If you are known by any other names
- (if yes, declare that name)
- Your date of birth
- Your city of birth
- Your country of birth
- Your passport number
- Your country of citizenship
- Your National Identification Number (where applicable)
- Issuance date (of passport)
- The Issuing Country (of passport)
- Your Personal Identification Number (where applicable)
- The expiration date (of passport);
Other Citizenship or Nationality
If you have ever been issued a passport or national ID card for any additional countries, if so click YES. Then you will need to document which country issued it to you; the document type, the document number and the expiration date.
You will need to declare if you have any other citizenship or nationality - you will be asked if you are a citizen or national of any other countries. If so, you should complete the form accordingly to which country, how you acquired that nationality along with any other additional information.
You will then be asked if you have ever been a citizen or national of any other country, to which you will fill in if applicable.
Global Entry Programme
If you are a member of the Global Entry Programme - if yes, enter your ‘PASSID/Membership Number’;
The CBP PASSID is assigned to you once your Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI has been approved. This number will consist of 9 digits and usually starts with a 98. The number will serve as your known traveler number, and can be found on the back of your NEXUS, SENTRI, or Global Entry card. Alternatively, you can find this number by logging on to the Global Online Enrollment System.
- Your parents family name (x2);
- Your parent's first name (x2);
- Your Address Line 1;
- Your City;
- Your State/Province/Region;
- Your Country;
- Telephone type;
- Your phone number;
- Your E-mail address;
- Confirm your Email address;
- Your Social Media account (This is optional);
- Your job title;
- Employer Name;
- The Employer’s Address Line 1;
- The Employer’s City;
- The Employer’s State/Province/Region;
- The Employer’s Country;
→Once you have completed all of the required information fields, you can click ‘NEXT’ at the bottom of the page.
Travel Information section of the application
Here, you will need to know the answers to the following:
Did your travel to the US include transiting through another country?;
You will be then asked:
Your U.S. point of contact information including;
- Address Line 1;
- Phone Number.
- Your Address while in the U.S. (this can be the same information as the above) - this information is optional because you may be staying in different locations;
- Emergency contact information in or out of the U.S.;
- Family name;
- First name;
- E-mail address;
- Country code plus phone number.
The next part of the application process is called ‘Eligibility questions’.
Within this section, there are 9 questions which you must answer honestly. Answer the questions accordingly.
At the bottom of this page, you will come across the ‘WAIVER OR RIGHTS’ section. Again, you must read through the whole section and confirm that you agree with the content that is written. You must tick the box under the heading ‘CERTIFICATION’. If you have completed the ESTA application on behalf of somebody else, you must read and sign the ‘THIRD PARTIES ONLY’ section. After you are happy to continue, click ‘NEXT’ at the bottom of the page.
Waiver of Rights
The Waiver of Rights section basically confirms that you have read and understand the terms and conditions for completing the ESTA application form. You will be agreeing to the submission of your biometric identifiers, such as your fingerprints and photographs during processing upon your arrival in the US. Furthermore, you are acknowledging that all of the information that you have provided is correct, to the best of your belief.
Third Parties Only: this section is to be ticked if the application was completed by someone on your behalf. The 3rd party will have to confirm that the terms and conditions have been read and are understood by the applicant. The information provided to the 3rd party is solely the applicant's responsibility.
Review ESTA Application
Next on the agenda is the ‘Review Application’ stage. This step is pretty straightforward. This part of the process will allow you to review the information that you have previously submitted and ensure that everything is correct. You will see the headings of each process and once you are happy with all the information, click ‘CONFIRM & CONTINUE’ on each section.
After you have clicked ‘CONFIRM & CONTINUE’, the boxes will display the words ‘Reviewed’ with a tick next to it.
Finally, the ‘Review Application’ section will ask you to verify your details. For that you will need to re-enter your Passport Number, Family Name, Date of birth and the Issuing Country of your passport.
→ Once that information has been confirmed, click ‘NEXT’ on the page.
Pay for ESTA
Clicking next will subsequently take you to the last stage of the application process, the ‘Pay’ stage.
You will notice that there is an application number. Make sure to note that number down for future reference. You will need the application number, your date of birth and your passport number in order to make a payment.You have up to one week to make a payment for this application.
You will see that you have to make a payment of $14. This does not mean that your ESTA has been granted. Your ESTA will not be processed until the payment is made, however if your application is denied then you will receive a refund for $10, with $4 remaining as a processing fee.
There is another ‘DISCLAIMER’ that needs to be read through. Tick that box if you understand and agree.
Proceed to the payment page by clicking ‘PAY NOW’. All payments for ESTA applications must be made by credit card/debit card or PayPal. The ESTA system currently accepts only the following credit card/debit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club).
After you have submitted your payment details, click ‘SEND PAYMENT’. On the next page, you should NOT refresh the page or use the browser’s ‘Back’ button. Just wait. Processing of the payment can take up to 1 minute. After the payment has been taken, you will enter the final part of the process.
If your ESTA has been approved it will state it clearly at the top of the page with the text ‘AUTHORIZATION APPROVED’ and under the status section in the table it will confirm this with the text ‘Authorization Approved’.
→ Once you have received that summary page, you will have completed the ESTA application process.You should now receive your ESTA application within 72 hours. However, in most cases, ESTAs are approved within a matter of minutes.You can check the status of your ESTA by returning to the homepage and clicking ‘CHECK INDIVIDUAL STATUS”. You will then need to input your Passport Number, Date of Birth and your Application Number. Finally, click ‘RETRIEVE APPLICATION’.