ESTA for German Citizens
Under the terms of the Visa waiver Program (VWP) German citizens are able to visit the US with an ESTA instead of a visa. Germany has been a member of the VWP since 1990, previous to this West Germany became a member in 1989. German citizens can now benefit from the more simplified process of completing an online ESTA application.
ESTA Requirements and Important Information
- ESTA is only for visits of up to a maximum 90 days
- Required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
- A valid, biometric passport is required
- ESTA is issued for two years, or until passport expires
- Can be used for tourism, business, medical or transit
- Children are also required to have their own ESTA
- Can be used for multiple visits to the US
Benefits of Applying for ESTA for German Citizens
German citizens are able to take advantage of the more efficient process for obtaining travel authorization through an ESTA, which is considerably quicker and easier than applying for a US visa. Whilst the US visa application involves a long form to be completed, as well as providing documents and attending an interview at the US Embassy, applying for an ESTA can be done in around 10 minutes.
The applicant simply needs to complete the online ESTA form, which requires personal information e.g. name, address, DOB, as well as the applicant’s passport details. There is also a set of questions related to previous travel, criminal convictions and medical history. If the ESTA is approved, the applicant will receive confirmation by email and the ESTA will be automatically electronically linked to their passport.
The ESTA will be valid for two years, or until the linked passport expires – whichever date is the soonest. During that period of validity, the ESTA holder is able to use it for multiple trips to the US, provided that they do not stay for a period longer than 90 days in one trip.
How German Citizens Can Apply for ESTA
All the German citizens requires a valid passport, email address and a method to make a card payment for the application fee. Once the application form has been completed, the applicant should check over all of the information to make sure that there are no mistakes. An error on the form could result in the application getting declined, so it is recommended that extra care is taken when completing the information.
It is also recommended that the application is submitted a minimum of 72 hours before the time of intended travel. This should allow enough time for processing the application, even if there is a system error, or if it is a particularly busy time of the year.
Once the form has been completed, the application fee is paid and then the form is finally submitted. A response will be sent to the email address provided, to inform of the decision to approve or decline the ESTA. This often takes just a few hours, although it can take longer, hence giving at least 72 hours for processing.
What Happens if ESTA is Declined?
There are generally only two reasons your ESTA will get declined. Either you made an error when you completed the form, or you have been deemed as not eligible under the criteria set by the US government for an ESTA.
You may be able to apply for a US visa to enable you to make your planned trip to the US, in which case you will need to firstly complete a DS-160 form and then attend an interview at the US Embassy.
The German US Embassy address is:
U.S. Embassy Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany
Benefits of ESTA for German citizens:
- Quick processing
- Valid for visits of up to 90 days
- Quick to complete application
- Fill in form using mobile or desktop
- Can use for multiple visits to US
- Visits for tourism, business, medical or transit purposes