Can I speed up my ESTA application?

The short answer to this question is no, you cannot fast track an ESTA application. However, by ensuring that your ESTA application is completed with all of the correct information, there is a much better chance that it will get processed quickly and approved. The processing of an ESTA application can take anything from a few minutes to several days to receive correspondence regarding the application to confirm whether it has been approved or declined.
One of the main reasons that an ESTA will get delayed is because the applicant has not provided the correct information or they have made an error. In order to make sure that no mistakes are made and all of the relevant information is provided, using a specialist ESTA checking company such as is the best option.
Although this will not fast track the application in terms of the Department of Homeland Security processing it faster, they will be able to highlight any issues with the information that has been completed so that it can be amended before the application is submitted. The turnaround times for Homeland Security to process applications will vary depending on how busy they are at that time. Once an ESTA has been submitted the applicants will get screened by the Department of Homeland Security to check whether the applicant poses a security or health risk to the US.
The Department of Homeland security set up the ESTA system to allow tourists to enter the United States without needing to complete a visa, making it easier to take holidays in the United States or for attending business trips in the US.

How does the ESTA system work?

When an ESTA application is approved by the Department of Homeland Security, the ESTA will be electronically linked to the applicant’s biometric passport. When the person enters the US, the CBP will check the passport and see that there is a valid ESTA in place. Without a valid ESTA, the CBP will not allow any traveler to enter the US by air, land or by sea. The CBP will check travel documents when travelling by land via Canada or Mexico, as well as at airports and ports.

When should I apply for ESTA?

The easy answer to this is that you should apply as soon as you make your travel plans if you are intending to travel to the US in the near future. The ESTA remains valid for two years (or until the passport expires if this is sooner) therefore if you apply a few weeks or months before your trip to the US, the ESTA will still be valid for the next two years. Within that time, you will be able to use that same ESTA for multiple visits to the US and each time you go, CBP will check your passport to see the ESTA is still valid.
Travel restrictions to the US are quite regularly updated, so it is important to keep up to date with the current restrictions by visiting the official Department of Homeland Security website for the latest news. You will also be able to stay informed of any changes related to items that are prohibited from being taken into the US and that the CBP would confiscate on arrival at the border.

Related FAQs

Why was my ESTA application denied?

There could be a number of reasons why your ESTA application was denied. Here are some of the more common reasons why your application might have been given a "Travel Not Authorised" response...

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Why isn’t my ESTA valid for 2 years?

If you have obtained your ESTA authorisation, but your passport is due to expire before the end of the 2-year validity period, then your ESTA will expire automatically with the expiration of your passport.

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Will strikes and delays affect my ESTA application?

If airlines go on strike and your flight is cancelled, this shouldn’t affect your ESTA application. Once your ESTA is approved it remains valid for 2 years or until your passport expires, this depends on which one comes first.

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