ESTA for Spanish Citizens -

ESTA for Spanish Citizens

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Spain joined the Visa Waiver Program in 1991, entitling citizens of Spain to be able to apply for an ESTA when it was introduced. This makes it a lot easier for Spanish citizens to visit the US for business, tourism, transit, or medical purposes.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • Links to a biometric passport electronically
  • Only for visits to the US that are a maximum of 90 days
  • Stays valid for two years, or until the passport expires
  • Use for tourism, business, medical, or transit in the US
  • The same ESTA can be used for numerous visits to the US
  • ESTA can be used as authorisation for people flying or sailing to the US
  • Children require their own individual ESTA
Application for Spanish Citizens

Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Spanish Citizens

Citizens of Spain are eligible to apply for an ESTA, saving them time and money when compared to obtaining a US visa. The ESTA is a short online form that applicants can complete in less than 20 minutes and usually receive a response within 24 hours. Applicants are advised to apply at least 72 hours before they travel to the US to avoid any delays.

Another great advantage for Spanish citizens in applying for an ESTA is that it stays valid for two years and in that time they are able to use it to visit the US as many times as they want. The only restriction is that they do not overstay the 90 days limit.

One more benefit of using an ESTA rather than a visa is that the application fee is considerably less than when applying for a visa. An ESTA application is completed online, whilst a visa requires a visit to the US Embassy for an interview.

How Spanish Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

To apply for an ESTA, Spanish citizens require a biometric passport, a valid email address, and a way of paying for their application fee i.e. a payment card. The applicant will need to complete details from their passport when they fill in the questions on the online form. Other questions include name, address, DOB, as well as some health-related questions and information ond criminal convictions.

The Department of Homeland Security screens each applicant to determine whether they are deemed to be a security risk and then a final decision will be made. The applicant will receive an email to inform them of the decision. If the ESTA is approved then it links electronically to the passport.

What Do I Need to Apply?

When applying for ESTA, it is necessary to provide the following:

  • Valid passport from a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Programme
  • Traveller's actual email address
  • Traveller's residential address and phone number
  • Emergency contacts for visitors include a phone number and an email
Passport Requirements for ESTA

The passport expiry date is a crucial piece of information. The passport must be valid at least until the day of return when using ESTA.

The ESTA expires after two years or at the same time as the passport expires, so the applicant will need to apply for a new ESTA as soon as they receive a new passport.

Additional criteria for passports apply to all nations participating in the Visa Waiver Programme:

  • The passport must be electronic. This indicates that the passport has a digital chip that contains the owner's biometric information
  • The biographical page of the passport must have a machine-readable zone

The Application Form and Procedure for Spanish Citizens

To access the form, click the "Apply for ESTA" button. All information must be written in English. Fields with an asterisk are mandatory and the form cannot be submitted without them. When filling out the form, the first part requires personal data such as last name, first name, date and place of birth, gender and parent`s name. Along with those fields, a person will need to enter the residential address, phone number, and email address.

The employment information is necessary to ensure that you are not visiting the USA illegally in order to work. Social media information is optional.

Spanish applicants must enter the details of their emergency contacts. This information is mandatory and serves in the event that someone contacts you and cannot reach you.

The following is the travel information. If a tourist is just transiting through the US, they still need an ESTA. For this reason, this field is mandatory. After that, visitors must enter their passport details.

There are also eligibility questions in the application form that must be answered truthfully. To ensure that the eligibility questions have been appropriately answered, Homeland Security will review all ESTA applications.

After filling out all fields, a summary of the data will be displayed. This step is for the applicant to check whether they have entered the correct information. If not, they will have to apply again.

Afterwards, a payment screen with details on the fee amount and credit card will appear.

ESTA Renewal

It is not possible to renew an ESTA after it expires. It is valid for 2 years, or until the passport expires. In those cases, the user will need to complete a new application for ESTA.

Updating Your ESTA: When Do You Need a New Travel Authorisation?

If any of these circumstances occur, the person must submit an application for a new ESTA:

  • Name change
  • Gender change
  • The person got a new passport
  • The responses to the ESTA qualifying requirements have altered
  • The passport is about to expire

ESTA for Children

Any child travelling to the US must obtain an ESTA as well. In that case, parents or legal guardians must apply for ESTA in the name of the child and it will be attached electronically to its passport.

Will I Be Notified When My US ESTA Gets Approved?

Spanish applicants will receive a notification about the ESTA status via the email address provided in the application form. The ESTA is often authorised immediately, but on the occasion that there are any delays or additional processing questions, it might take up to 3 business days (72 hours).

Although presenting a copy of one's ESTA travel permit upon entering the United States is not necessary, it would be useful to do so in case an airline employee asks for one.

What to Do if ESTA Is Declined?

If the email informs you that the application has been declined, it could be due to a mistake on the application. If that is the reason, then you will be able to send a second application with the correct details but you will also need to pay the application fee again.

If the ESTA refusal was not due to an error, then the alternative for the applicant is to try applying for a visa instead, by attending the US Embassy for an interview.

US Embassy for Spanish Citizens

U.S. Embassy Madrid Calle de Serrano, 75 28006 Madrid, Spain

Benefits of ESTA for Spanish Citizens:
  • Quick processing times
  • The application form is short and fast to fill in
  • You can apply via mobile or desktop
  • The same ESTA can be used to visit the US multiple times
  • It enables individual US visits of up to 90 days
  • For business, tourism, medical, or transit
  • Valid for 2 years or until the passport expires
  • There is no need for an interview at the US Embassy as the entire process is executed online
  • The application fee for ESTA is cheaper than getting the traditional US visa
Who Is Ineligible for an ESTA?

The following tourists are not eligible to enter the US without a visa:

  • Individuals who have been denied entry to the US or have been deported from the US
  • Individuals arrested (even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction)
  • Individuals with a criminal record (although subject to some type of pardon)
  • Individuals with some infectious disease

Also, citizens from Spain cannot travel on the VWP if they have been physically present in Iraq, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Sudan or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011, according to the Visa Waiver Programme Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (with a few exceptions for travel for military or diplomatic assistance of a VWP nation).

Is an ESTA the Same as a Visa?

There are distinctions between an ESTA and a visa, thus the answer is no. Users can receive an ESTA by submitting an online application. On the other hand, they must fill out a DS-160 form and show up for an embassy appointment to apply for a U.S. visa. Also, the processing of a U.S. visa might take many weeks and has unpredictable deadlines. Travellers with valid U.S. visas have some privileges that ESTA applicants do not have.

ESTA holders are not guaranteed entry to the US. CBP at the U.S. border will finally decide whether Spanish nationals going to the country with an ESTA are allowed to enter the country.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Yes, citizens of Spain can travel to the USA if they have the required travel documents.
If their trip is not longer than 90 days they can use ESTA instead of a visa. Otherwise, Spanish citizens will need a visa to enter the US.
Spain became a member of the Visa Waiver Program in 1991, giving its nationals access to the ESTA application process. This makes it much simpler for Spanish nationals to go to the US for transit, business, or medical reasons.
Using ESTA, Spanish citizens are allowed to stay up to 90 days per visit in the US. With a US visa, they can stay longer.
If you have an ESTA, you can go to the US as many times as you want. Keep in mind that each stay can’t exceed the maximum of 90 days.