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
to make the system simple, efficient, paperless, and fully online.
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.
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
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.