ESTA FAQ

The application for the US entry permit is complex and throws up some questions. Here are the answers to the most common ESTA questions!

ESTA

The official travel authorization for your trip to the USA!

Do I have to print my ESTA application?

You are not required to print your ESTA application and bring it with you to the USA, but we highly recommend it. There are advantages to having your authorized ESTA printed out and with you while traveling:

  • If you happen to have made a mistake in your ESTA application, it is easier to spot when your ESTA has been printed than having to log in to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to check your data.
  • In general, the airlines have the necessary software to electronically check if you are traveling with an ESTA. In case of a technical failure, it is always better to have your ESTA printed and on-hand.
  • Printing your ESTA can help you answer questions asked by the border officer. The answers you give to the border officer should be the same as those in your ESTA.
  • If you plan to travel to the USA again, you can easily check the validity of your ESTA on the printed documents.
ESTA application print

 

If you apply for your ESTA at ESTA-Online, we will send you your travel authorization immediately via e-mail. You can also review your ESTA at any time online in your customer account, reprint it and take it with you on your trip to the USA.

ESTA for groups

Every person traveling to the USA needs to have a valid ESTA – even children! If you are planning your next trip through America with families or friends, then you can save time by using our ESTA group application.

ESTA for families

Be on the safe side: Keep track of your ESTA more easily by printing it!


When completing a group application, there will be one contact person for the group who is responsible for organizing and paying for the applications. Each individual application will be checked by our ESTA experts.

ESTA for groups


To avoid any travel stress, we highly recommend giving yourself enough time to complete the ESTA group application. As soon as you have collected all the personal data and travel details of every applicant, you can start applying for an ESTA. Ideally, you should apply for an ESTA two months ahead of time or one week before departing at the latest.

ESTA for transit

Even if you only have a layover and never leave the airport, you are required to have an ESTA. People traveling through the USA are considered visitors of the United States by the US authorities and must have, therefore, a valid US visa or an ESTA travel authorization.

ESTA Transit


Airlines are required to inform the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of their passengers’ traveling status. If you cannot show that you are in the USA with a valid ESTA, then you will not make your connecting flight.

The ESTA application for people in transit is practically the same. The only difference is that you do not need to include a contact person in the USA and a US address.

TIP

We would recommend that you always provide an ESTA for entry into the USA. As the travel authorization is valid for two years, you then have the option to enter the USA during this time. With an ESTA only for transit this would not be possible!

Do I need ESTA for land crossing?

An ESTA is not necessarily required when entering the USA by land from Mexico or Canada. We would still highly recommend applying for an ESTA before entering the USA.

It is required, however, to have a copy of your I-94 when entering the USA by land. The I-94 can be completed either at the border or accessed online and printed out beforehand. Please be aware that the I-94 is only valid for 7 days!

Why would an ESTA application be denied?

There are many reasons why an ESTA application may be denied. In most cases, ESTA applications are denied because the applicant does not meet the requirements to travel visa-free to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program. Though the reasons are various, there are two main reasons:

1. ESTA denied because of mistakes in the data given

It is easy to make a typing mistake, especially if you are in a hurry. If your application has been denied, you should carefully check your application and see if there is a mistake in your name, passport data, date of birth, etc.

ESTA denied

 

2. ESTA denied despite correct data

Have you double-checked your ESTA application and are certain that there are no mistakes? And despite this, your ESTA has still been denied? There are a few reasons for this:

  • You have the same name as someone who the US authorities are keeping an eye on
  • You are a dual citizen of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria
  • You answered “yes” to one of the security questions
  • A previous visa or ESTA application was denied
  • In the past, you have stayed in the USA longer than your ESTA or visa allowed
  • You are a US Green Card holder

The US authorities will not tell you why your ESTA application was denied. Instead, you will receive a status update notifying you that your ESTA has not been authorized. That is why it is important to double-check your application for possible mistakes and if necessary, ask to have your ESTA application reset.

ESTA with 2 nationalities

If you have 2 nationalities, both must be included in the ESTA application, even if you only have one passport. If you do not disclose a nationality, you risk that your ESTA will be rejected.

Can I apply for an ESTA with previous convictions?

There are many factors that come into play when applying for an ESTA with a previous conviction. That is why having a conviction does not fundamentally lead to your ESTA application being denied. It is of upmost importance, however, to be truthful in your ESTA application and list all previous convictions. If a US border officer finds inconsistencies in your application, they may refuse you entry into the USA.

Whether or not an ESTA Visa will be denied depends on the type of crime you committed. For example, if it was only a small traffic offense that happened long ago, the chance that your ESTA will be authorized is very high. On the other hand, felons or repeat offenders, e.g. murderers or rapists will be denied entry into the USA. 

What is the National ID?

National ID stands for National Identification Number. Every country in the European Economic Area is assigned a code so that every citizen can be easily identified. It can either be a tax number, social insurance number, or a personal identification number – the code differs from country to country which is why your national identification number depends on your citizenship.

Not all countries in the Visa Waiver Program are required to give a national identification number when apply for an ESTA. 

TIPP:

Profitieren Sie von unserer Expertise und stellen Ihren ESTA Antrag mit unserer professionellen Hilfe, so kümmern wir uns um die korrekte Eingabe aller Ihrer Daten.

What is an overstay?

The term overstay is assigned to people who stay in the USA longer than their travel authorization or visa allows. An overstay can lead to negative consequences when trying to reenter the United States or applying for a US visa later.

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