ESTA Application: A Step-by-Step Guide
Are you making your ESTA application? We’ve laid out the applications process on this page to walk you through it, and you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you might think. Follow the instructions and make sure that you fill in all of your information correctly. If you have any questions about the process or the ESTA form, you can find answers here.
Starting Your Application
Make your way to the application page by clicking on the “Apply for ESTA” button.
When you’ve entered the application page, you’ll be faced with a number of forms to fill out. Make sure to fill in all of the information in English. Any fields marked with a red asterisk* are obligatory and must be filled out - if you don’t then you won’t be able to complete your application. These are very simply - just fill in the information requested. The first part of the form requires details about you. You’ll need to fill in your name, surname (Family Name), your gender, date of birth, where you were born, and also the names of your parents. You’ll also need to fill in the information to get in touch with you - your email address, telephone number, and also your home address.
I need to use characters or letters not in American English. How do I write them?
If you’re filling out information in the form but you have a character not used in American English, you can use these replacements.
You can also check the part of your passport that contains multiple chevrons (<<< >>>) for the universal spelling of your name. You can type it in exactly as it’s found there.
ß = ss
ü = ue
Å = aa
æ = a e
ë = e
ø = oe
ö = oe
ä = ae
ñ = n
Next, you will need to fill out information related to your employment, and if you wish then you can add information related to your social media. The employment information is required on the form as this is to ensure that you are not entering the USA to work without the proper permissions.
Social media information is completely voluntary, and you don’t have to submit it if you prefer not to.
You will need to fill in your emergency contact information. This is used if somebody needs to get in touch with you, but they are unable to for some reason. This is important to include and is another obligatory field.
Your emergency contact will be somebody who can be called and contacted in case of an emergency - for example if you need medical attention and somebody needs to be contacted.
You will then be required to fill out information regarding your travel plans. You will need to include information on your travel - if you are using the U.S. to transit you will still need ESTA and so this is an important step. Next, you will be required to fill out your passport information.
This is necessary, as it will need to be used when you are flying to verify your identity matches that of your ESTA application. If you’re not sure of the validity of your passport check our FAQ here. If you are a member of the Global Entry Program, now is also when you an input information regarding this.
There are a number of requisites which must be taken into account - these are known as the eligibility questions and it’s very important that they are filled in correctly and truthfully. If you are denied because of one of these questions then your application will need to be re-submitted.
Completing Your Application
After you have completed all of the forms, you will be shown a summary of all of your information. This is the time to make sure that all of the information that you entered was correct. You can’t change any of this information once your application has been submitted and approved, so make sure that it’s all correct at this stage. Submitting wrong information will mean applying again.
At the bottom of the page you will be shown the following message, read through it and tick it before continuing. If, after this step, your information is incorrect then your application will need to be re-submitted. Once you’ve confirmed your details you will be taken to a payment screen, you will be shown the total and you can enter your card details.
Don’t panic - you can still access this information. Check your ESTA status on the homepage, and input your family name, first name, and passport issuing country, in addition to your passport number and date of birth. This will let you access your application.
More questions about your application? Check our FAQ page.
How will I be notified of the status of my application?An email is not sent out when you are approved or denied for ESTA, you must check the status of your application on the ESTA “Check existing application” page.