Do I need to print and bring my ESTA to the airport?

It is not compulsory to print and bring your ESTA but it is recommended as a precaution. When your ESTA form is processed and authorised, you can see this immediately by checking your form. The procedure is normally complete within minutes, but may occasionally take longer.
Your authorisation is based on your passport number, and will be immediately updated in the electronic system so that Border Control recognize you are authorized to enter the U.S. as soon as you present your passport on your check in. The process has been designed by the U.S. government to make the system simple, efficient, paperless, and fully online.
No official document will be sent to you. Your application for travel authorisation will simply be updated to state that it is pending, that is has been approved, or that it has been denied.
The U.S. border control will have the relevant information available to them when you land in the United States, but your airline may not necessarily have access to this, and may choose to request a physical copy of your authorisation. Therefore, it would be best to check with your chosen airline to see whether or not you need to bring a print out of the ESTA with you for the flight.
The U.S. border control will have the relevant information available to them when you land in the United States, but your airline may not necessarily have access to this, and may choose to request a physical copy of your authorisation. Thus, it would be best to check with your flight.
Generally speaking, although it is not essential to print the ESTA authorisation to travel to the U.S., it is considered good practice to keep a copy of the printed form showing the granted authorisation for your own records, and for the unlikely event of any emergency.
Keeping a record of your reference number will be useful, as your ESTA authorisation is valid for 2 years and for all trips to the U.S. you may complete in such period. However, in order to reuse your ESTA, you must ensure all the information within your file remains correct.
If your passport, address, or situation changes, then you should modify your file to renew the authorisation. To do so, you need to visit the website where you originally submitted your application and connect to your file using the reference number you were provided. This is the same as when you make a mistake during the completion of your application form. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the form and your reference number somewhere safe after printing the document.

Related FAQs


How can I check my ESTA application if the application number doesn’t exist anymore?

Once your ESTA permit has expired, you will not be able to check it and the number will no longer exist, therefore you will have to apply for a new ESTA authorisation. This means you will have to fill in the form once again and you will have to repay the fee.

Read More..

What does it mean if one of the group requests is "pending"?

It could be the case that one of the applications in the group is still processing. You can check the individual applications by searching for the details individually. To do that you would need the passport numbers, dates of birth, full names and nationalities of all the people in your group.

Read More..

Can a third party fill out my ESTA application for me?

Yes, a third party can fill out your ESTA form for you, as it is not compulsory for the person whose name appears on the form to complete the form themselves. It is acceptable for a third party such as a friend, parent, partner or travel agent to fill out all or part of the form on your behalf.

Read More..