How to check ESTA expiry date

It is a mandatory requirement on travelers from visa exempt countries to have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)on arrival in the United States.

This applies to all VWP travellers including infants.

Before travel, you should check the status of your ESTA to ensure it will be valid for your arrival in the US. Without a valid ESTA upon arrival you face being denied entry. 

ESTA is granted for a period of 2 consecutive years, which starts the date it was issued. 

It allows multiple entries during the validity period, meaning you do not have ot reapply for ESTA for each visit, provided the reason for visit complies with the ESTA rules, for example not exceeding the 90-day visit period.

ESTA authorization will expire after two years or on the expiration of your passport, whichever comes first. During the validity period of your ESTA you may enter the United States for multiple times given that each stay does

How to check ESTA validity 

Checking if your ESTA is still valid is relatively straightforward. Use the ESTA online checking service, inputting your passport number and date of birth to retrieve your details. 

The results will return one of the following: 

  • Application Not Found – if you have input incorrect information which does not match with ESTA records, or when no current or previous ESTA exists.
  • ESTA application expired – ESTA is no longer valid and you will need to make a new application online in advance of travel. 
  • Application pending – your application is under review and may be subject to additional security checks are required. A decision can take up to 72 hours.
  • ESTA authorization approved – ESTA authorization is currently valid for travel to the United States. 
  • ESTA application not authorized – your application has been denied and you are not permitted to travel visa-free. You will instead need to apply for a relevant visa to travel to the US. 

Expired ESTA?

If your ESTA is no longer valid, you will need to complete a new ESTA application form. 

You only need valid ESTA for when you travel to the US. You can still travel if your ESTA is due to expire once you are in the US during the maximum 90-day visit period. 

When should I apply for ESTA?

The Department of Homeland security advises travellers apply for their ESTA no later than 72 hours before departing for the US. 

You must have a valid and approved ESTA in place when you travel or it is likely you will be denied boarding.

ESTA validity 

Once granted, an ESTA is valid for two years or the date of your passport expiry, whichever date is sooner.

Your travel authorization will also automatically terminate when your passport expires if such happens before the end of the two-year period of your travel authorization.

Authorization can however also be withdrawn or revoked if for example your circumstances change affecting your eligibility for ESTA authorization, such as having a recent criminal conviction.

How long is ESTA processing? 

After your submit my application, the data will be verified to ensure accuracy upon submission A successful ESTA application is usually approved within minutes of submission.

What happens after my application is approved?

A unique ESTA authorization number will be sent directly via e-mail as proof of a successful application.

ESTA eligible 

You are eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program if you:

  • Intend to enter the United States for 90 days or less for business, pleasure or transit
  • Have a valid passport lawfully issued to you by a Visa Waiver Program country
  • Have authorization to travel via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization
  • Arrive via a Visa Waiver Program signatory carrier
  • Have a return or onward ticket
  • Travel may not terminate in contiguous territory or adjacent islands unless the traveler is a resident of one of those areas 
  • Are a citizen or national of one of the Visa Waiver Program countries

ESTA conditions

  • The ESTA is valid for 24 months from date of approval (or to the expiry date of your passport – if the passport expires within the next 24 months);
  • The ESTA is a multiple entry visa with each visit being a maximum of 90 days;
  • The ESTA 90 day visit limit does not start until your arrive in the USA;
  • The holder of an ESTA is entitled to undertake tourism and certain business activities such as exploring job opportunities, consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference; and
  • The holder of an ESTA is not permitted to engage in any work, study or training.

Does a travel authorization guarantee entry into the United States?

An approved travel authorization only allows you to travel to the U.S. it does not guarantee your entry. Admission is determined by an officer, who will inspect you upon your arrival in the United States. The officer will then establish whether you may enter based upon whether you are admissible under the Visa Waiver Program, and U.S. Laws.

Do you have a query about entering the USA with a criminal record? Book a fixed fee telephone consultation with a US immigration attorney >>

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

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