Search articles:
Schedule an appointment

Everything you need to know about
the Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program

 

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits citizens of 36 participating countries to enter the U.S. for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without having to go to a U.S. consulate and apply for a visa.

VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they need to visit the U.S. for longer than 90 days or intend to change to another non-immigrant visa, such as a student visa , after they enter.

VWP visitor are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

After entry, the visa waiver holder must leave by the 90th day following entry; otherwise they probably will not be permitted to return to the U.S. as a visitor. Under the program, there is no extension of the visa allowed, nor can you change status while in the U.S., except is you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.

 

 

Click Here to

Apply for an Authorization to Travel to the United States

The Visa Waiver Program

 

 

Source for FAQ's:  ESTA Screen Level Online

Travel Authorization
What is a travel authorization?
Who is required to have a travel authorization?
Does a travel authorization guarantee me admission to the United States?
Is a travel authorization a visa?
How long is my travel authorization valid?
When do I need to apply for a travel authorization?
Can prospective travelers apply to ESTA for a travel authorization without specific travel plans if they want to be able to travel to the United States on short notice?
Do nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program require a travel authorization if they are only transiting the United States in route to another country?
Can a Visa Waiver Program traveler with more than one passport travel to the United States on the passport that he or she did not use when applying for a travel authorization?
If a Visa Waiver Program traveler has received a travel authorization approval through ESTA, does he or she need to fill out an I-94W?
What should I do if I am not approved for a travel authorization?
Why is authorization under ESTA required for United States-bound travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

Visa Waiver Program
What is the Visa Waiver Program?
Which countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program?
Who is eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program?
What are the passport requirements for travel under the Visa Waiver Program?
When must I obtain a visa instead of using the Visa Waiver Program?
Are there disadvantages to using the Visa Waiver Program?
What if a Visa Waiver Program applicant is found to be inadmissible?
How do I get more information on the Visa Waiver Program?
Why is authorization under ESTA required for United States-bound travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

Applying for a Travel Authorization
How do I apply for authorization to travel to the United States?
What information do I need to complete the application?
Do travelers need to bring a paper printout of their travel authorization to the airport?
Is this Web site secure and private?
What does my computer need to use the ESTA to submit an application for authorization to travel to the United States?
Does a traveler ever need to reapply for a travel authorization through ESTA?

Updating a Travel Authorization
What information can I update?
What should I do if the information on my passport has changed?
How can applicants correct a mistake on their application?
How can applicants correct a mistake on Passport Issuance Date or Passport Expiration Date after completing their travel authorization application in ESTA?
Do travelers need to update their travel authorization if it will expire before they depart for the United States?
What if I want to update my application and do not have my Application Number?

Payment Required for a Travel Authorization
Is there a fee for a travel authorization?
How do I pay for my travel authorization?
Is the credit card information I use for payment secure?

ESTA Data Privacy
How does the U. S. government protect the privacy of ESTA data and who has access to it?
How long is the travel authorization application data stored?
Does DHS share ESTA data with others?

Travel Not Authorized
What should a traveler do if he or she is not approved for travel through ESTA?
Should a traveler not authorized for travel through ESTA reapply?
How can a traveler find out the reason a travel authorization was denied?
If a traveler was denied approval and needs to travel immediately, is it possible to get an emergency visa appointment at a United States Embassy or Consulate?

Troubleshooting
What if I want to update my application and do not have my Application Number?
What does my computer need to use the ESTA to submit an application for authorization to travel to the United States?

 

What is a travel authorization?

To strengthen the security of travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, requirements to travel visa-free have been enhanced. Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries will still be eligible to travel without a visa but will have to obtain an approved travel authorization prior to their travel to the United States.

Here is how the travel authorization process works:

The Department of Homeland Security and the United States Customs and Border Protection have provided a secure public Web site with an automated form for you, or a third party, to complete in order to apply for a travel authorization. Once you enter the required biographic, travel, and credit card information on the secure Web site, your application is processed by the system to determine if you are eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program without a visa. The system will provide you with an automated response, and prior to boarding, a carrier will electronically verify with the United States Customs and Border Protection that you have an approved travel authorization on file.

Return to Top of Page




Who is required to have a travel authorization?

All passengers traveling under the Visa Waiver Program are required to have an approved travel authorization prior to traveling to the United States by air or sea. Even non-ticketed infants are required to have an approved travel authorization, if they do not have a visa for travel to the United States. An application may be submitted by a third party on behalf of a Visa Waiver Program traveler.

Return to Top of Page




Does a travel authorization guarantee me admission to the United States?

If your electronic travel authorization is approved, this approval establishes that you are eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, but does not guarantee that you are admissible to the United States. Upon arrival in the United States you will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer at a port of entry who may determine that you are inadmissible under the Visa Waiver Program or for any reason under United States law.

Return to Top of Page




Is a travel authorization a visa?

No, an approved travel authorization is not a visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a United States visa when a visa is required under United States law. Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for a travel authorization.

Return to Top of Page




How long is my travel authorization valid?

Unless revoked, travel authorizations are valid for two years from the date of authorization, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. The Authorization Approved screen displays your travel authorization expiration date.

Return to Top of Page




When do I need to apply for a travel authorization?

Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travel authorization applications be submitted at least 72 hours prior to travel. Unless revoked, travel authorizations are valid for two years from the date of authorization, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Return to Top of Page




Can prospective travelers apply to ESTA for a travel authorization without specific travel plans if they want to be able to travel to the United States on short notice?

Visa Waiver Program travelers are not required to have specific plans to travel to the United States before they apply for a travel authorization. If a traveler’s destination address in the United States is unknown when he or she completes the application in ESTA for the travel authorization, the traveler should enter the name of the hotel or approximate location he or she intends to visit. Travelers may update this information when their plans are finalized, but they will not be required to update their destination addresses or itineraries should they change after their travel authorization has been approved. DHS recommends that applications for travel authorization be submitted in ESTA as early as possible, as soon as, or even before travel is planned. ESTA will accept applications from last minute and emergency travelers – those Visa Waiver Program travelers that arrive at the airport without an approved ESTA.

Return to Top of Page




Do nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program require travel authorization if they are only transiting the United States in route to another country?

Eligible nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program require either a travel authorization or a visa to transit the United States. If a traveler is only planning to transit through the United States en route to another country, when he or she completes the travel authorization application in ESTA, the traveler should enter the words "In Transit" and his or her final destination location in the address lines in the Address While In The United States field on the application.

Return to Top of Page




Can a Visa Waiver Program traveler with more than one passport travel to the United States on the passport that he or she did not use when applying for a travel authorization?

No. Each Visa Waiver Program travelers must have an approved travel authorization for the passport they plan to use before they travel to the United States. If travelers obtains a new passport, they must submit a new travel authorization application in ESTA using the new passport. A processing fee will be charged for each new application submitted.

Return to Top of Page




If a Visa Waiver Program traveler has received a travel authorization approval through ESTA, does he or she need to fill out an I-94W?

The implementation of the ESTA program allowed DHS to eliminate the requirement that Visa Waiver Program travelers complete an I-94W prior to being admitted to the United States. CBP has transitioned to paperless processing for Visa Waiver Program travelers arriving by air or sea who have obtained a travel authorization. Most carriers are now capable of receiving and validating messages pertaining to the traveler’s ESTA status as part of the traveler’s boarding status. Travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program who have an approved travel authorization will no longer be given a green I-94W departure coupon in their passport.

Return to Top of Page




What should I do if I am not approved for a travel authorization?

If you receive a Travel Not Authorized response to your travel authorization application, but wish to continue with your travel plans, please visit the United States Department of State Web site at www.travel.state.gov for additional information about applying for a visa. The denial of a travel authorization only prohibits travel under the Visa Waiver Program and is not a determination of eligibility for a visa to travel to the United States. In the event you are not approved for a travel authorization, no court shall have jurisdiction to review an eligibility determination under ESTA.

Return to Top of Page




Why is authorization under ESTA required for United States-bound travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

The “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007” (9/11 Act) amended Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), requiring that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement an electronic travel authorization system and other measures to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA adds another layer of security that allows DHS to determine, in advance of travel, whether an individual is eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and whether such travel poses a law enforcement or security risk.

Return to Top of Page




What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program allows foreign nationals from certain countries to travel to the United States for business or pleasure, for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Travelers admitted under the Visa Waiver Program must agree to waive their rights to review or appeal, as explained in the Waiver of Rights section of the Application screen. See Who is eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program? for further information.

For further information refer to § 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1187, and 8 C.F.R. § 217.

Return to Top of Page




Which countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program?

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
Republic of Malta
San Marino
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom

Return to Top of Page






Who is eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program?

You are eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program (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; and
  • Are a citizen or national of one of the Visa Waiver Program countries listed below:
Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
Republic of Malta
San Marino
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom

 

  • Establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting United States Customs and Border Protection officer that you are entitled to be admitted under the Visa Waiver Program and that you are not inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • Waive any rights to review or appeal of the admissibility determination of the United States Customs and Border Protection officer, or contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Reaffirm, through the submission of biometric identifiers (including fingerprints and photographs) during processing upon arrival in the United States, your waiver of any rights to review or appeal of the admissibility determination of the United States Customs and Border Protection officer, or contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Obtain an Authorization Approved determination following a travel authorization application.
  • Not pose a threat to the welfare, health, safety, or security of the United States.
  • Have complied with all conditions of any previous admission under the Visa Waiver Program.

Return to Top of Page




What are the passport requirements for travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

Visa Waiver Program requirements are:

The passport must have a machine-readable zone.

  • October 26, 2005 – Each Visa Waiver Program passport issued on or after this date must have a digital photo.
  • October 26, 2006 – Each Visa Waiver Program passport issued on or after this date must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.

EXCEPTION: To be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, persons presenting United Kingdom passports must possess the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man
EXCEPTION: Citizens and nationals of Slovenia may use only the red cover Slovenian passport for admission under the Visa Waiver Program (Visa Waiver Program).
EXCEPTION: Effective July 1, 2009, Visa Waiver Program countries’ emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports.

  • Citizens of the following Visa Waiver Program countries are required to present electronic passports: Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Malta, South Korea, and Greece.
  • Citizens from Visa Waiver Program eligible countries other than Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Malta, South Korea, and Greece must present a machine-readable passport. A machine readable passport contains two lines of text with numbers and chevrons (<<<)at the bottom of the personal information page with the passport bearer's picture. Document requirements vary according to the date a passport was issued or renewed as follows:

     

    • Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended before 10/26/05 have no additional requirements.

    • If a passport was issued or renewed/extended on or after 10/26/05 and does not meet the following requirements, the traveler must obtain a visa:

      1. Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after 10/26/05 through 10/25/06 must meet the following requirements. A digital photograph printed on the passport data page is required OR an integrated chip containing information from the data page (e-passport). A digital photo is one that is printed on the page, not a photo that is glued or laminated into the passport.

      2. Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after 10/26/06 are required to be e-passports.

    • For more information, please see the Customs and Border Protection Web site, CBP.gov, under Travel, For International Visitors, Visiting for Business or Pleasure, Visa Waiver Program.

Return to Top of Page




When must I obtain a visa instead of using the Visa Waiver Program?

  • If you intend to arrive in the United States aboard a non-signatory air carrier.
  • If you intend to visit the United States for more than 90 days.
  • If you believe any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a) apply to you, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa before traveling to the United States. Although you may be inadmissible to the United States, you may qualify for a non-immigrant visa and waiver, which will allow you to travel to the United States.

Return to Top of Page




Are there disadvantages to using the Visa Waiver Program?

Before using the Visa Waiver Program, be aware of the following conditions that apply and carefully consider your options:

  • If you are admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you may not change or extend your non-immigrant status.
  • If your admission is denied, you have no right to appeal a determination as to admissibility.
  • If you are found to have violated the terms of your admission, you also have no right to review or appeal, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.

Return to Top of Page




What if a Visa Waiver Program applicant is found to be inadmissible?

Travelers applying for admission to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program who are determined to be inadmissible to the United States will be denied admission and returned to their country of origin, or a third country from which the traveler holds a round-trip ticket, aboard the carrier on which the traveler arrived in the United States.

Return to Top of Page




How do I get more information on the Visa Waiver Program?

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/business_pleasure/vwp/

www.travel.state.gov

Return to Top of Page




Why is authorization under ESTA required for United States-bound travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

The “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007” (9/11 Act) amended Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), requiring that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement an electronic travel authorization system and other measures to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA adds another layer of security that allows DHS to determine, in advance of travel, whether an individual is eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and whether such travel poses a law enforcement or security risk.

Return to Top of Page




How do I apply for authorization to travel to the United States?

Step 1: Complete Your Application

Enter all required information. You will be asked to: provide information from your passport; to enter your travel arrangements and credit card information; and to answer seven security questions. Each member of your party must have an approved travel authorization or a visa, regardless of age, prior to traveling to the United States.

Step 2: Submit Your Application

Review your answers for accuracy. To make corrections, return to the application by selecting the Previous button.

Step 3: Record Your Application Number

After you submit your application, the system will provide you with an application number. Record this application number for your records. If you want to check the status or to update your application, you will be asked to provide your application number, passport number, and date of birth

Step 4: Make Payment

Enter your credit information for payment of fees associated with the Travel Promotion Act of 2009.

Step 5: View Your Application Status

In most cases the Electronic System for Travel Authorization will return an Application Status immediately. In cases where more time is needed to process an electronic travel authorization application, an answer will be usually returned within 72 hours. Information will be provided to check the application status if you receive a pending response. The three possible responses to an electronic travel authorization application are:

  • Authorization Approved. Your travel authorization has been approved and you are authorized to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. The system displays confirmation of the application approval and a payment receipt notice showing the amount charged to your credit card. A travel authorization does not guarantee admission to the United States; as a Customs and Border Protection officer at a port of entry will have the final determination.
  • Travel Not Authorized. You are not authorized to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. You may be able to obtain a visa from the Department of State for your travel. Please visit the United States Department of State Web site at www.travel.state.gov for additional information about applying for a visa. This response does not deny entry into the United States. This response only prohibits you from traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. The system also displays a payment receipt notice showing the amount charged to your credit card for the processing of the ESTA application.
  • Authorization Pending. Your travel authorization is under review because an immediate determination could not be made for your application. This response does not indicate negative findings. A determination will usually be available within 72 hours. Please return to this Web site and choose Update or Check the Status of a Previously Submitted Authorization to Travel to the United States. Your application number, passport number, and birth date will be required to check the status of your application.

Return to Top of Page




What information do I need to complete the application?

1.1.1.1.1 Applicant Information

Field Description
Birth Date, Day Choose the day on which you were born. The day of birth is required to complete the application or to check the status of your application.
Birth Date, Month Choose the month in which you were born. The month of birth is required to complete the application or to check the status of your application.
Birth Date, Year Choose the year in which you were born. The year of birth is required to complete the application or to check the status of your application.
Country Where You Live Choose the country in which you reside. The country where you live is required to complete the application.
E-mail Address Enter the e-mail address at which you can be contacted. The e-mail address is optional to complete the application.
Family Name Enter your family name as the family name appears on your passport under the Family Name or Surname field. The family name is required to complete the application.
First (Given) Name Enter your first (given) name as the first name appears on your passport under the First or Given Name field. Do not include the middle name in this field. First name is required to complete the application. If you do not have a first name, then enter the letters FNU which stands for First Name Unknown.
Sex Choose your gender, either male or female. The sex (gender) is required to complete the application.
Telephone Number, Country Code Choose the country code of the telephone number where you can be contacted. The country code and telephone number are optional to complete the application.
Telephone Number Enter the telephone number where you can be contacted. The telephone number is optional to complete the application.

1.1.1.1.2 Passport Information

Field Description
Passport Expiration Date, Day Choose the day on which your passport expires, as it appears on your passport under the Expiration Date or Extension field. The day on which the passport expires is required to complete the application.
Passport Expiration Date, Month Choose the month in which your passport expires, as it appears on your passport under the Expiration Date or Extension field. The month in which the passport expires is required to complete the application.
Passport Expiration Date, Year Choose the year in which your passport expires, as it appears on your passport under the Expiration Date or Extension field. The year in which the passport expires is required to complete the application.
Passport Issuance Date, Day Choose the day on which your passport was issued, as it appears on your passport under the Date of Issue field. The day on which the passport was issued is required to complete the application.
Passport Issuance Date, Month Choose the month in which your passport was issued, as it appears on your passport under the Date of Issue field. The month in which the passport was issued is required to complete the application.
Passport Issuance Date, Year Choose the year in which your passport was issued, as it appears on your passport under the Date of Issue field. The year in which the passport was issued is required to complete the application.
Passport Issuing Country Choose the country of citizenship, as it appears on your passport. The passport issuing country is required to complete the application.
Passport Number Enter your passport number as it appears on your passport. Enter your passport number as it appears on your passport. The passport number may contain numbers and/or characters. Please closely distinguish between the number zero and the letter O. The passport number is required to complete the application or to check the status of your application. The passport number is required to complete the application or to check the status of your application.

1.1.1.1.3 Travel Information

Field Description
Carrier Information, Carrier Name Choose the carrier name for the carrier on which you will be traveling to the United States, if your travel information is available. The carrier name is optional to complete the application.
Carrier Information, Flight Number or Vessel Name Enter the flight number or vessel name for the carrier on which you will be traveling to the United States, if your travel information is available. The flight number or vessel name is optional to complete the application.
City Where You are Boarding Enter the last city where you will board an aircraft prior to arriving in the United States on this trip. The city where the applicant will board is optional to complete the application.

1.1.1.1.4 Address While In The United States Information

Field Description
Address Line 1 Enter the number and street of the location where you will stay while in the United States. Do not include the city and state in this field. Address Line 1 is optional to complete the application.
  • If multiple locations are planned, enter the first address.
  • If the complete address is not known, enter the name of the hotel or location you will visit. You may update this information once confirmed.
  • If you are leaving the United States immediately and do not have an address, enter the words ”In Transit” and your final destination location.
Address Line 2 Enter apartment, suite, unit, floor, building, or other, if appropriate. Do not include the city and state in this field. Address line 2 is optional to complete the application.
City Enter the city of the address where you will stay while in the United States. The city is optional to complete the application.
State Enter the state of the address where you will stay while in the United States. The state is optional to complete the application.

1.1.1.1.5 Credit Card Billing Information

Field Description
First Name Enter the first name of the account holder. Must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
Middle Initial Enter the middle initial of the account holder. Must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
Last Name Enter the last name of the account holder. Must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
Billing Address Enter the billing street address for the credit card. Must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
Billing Address 2 Enter additional billing street information, if applicable. Must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
City Enter the billing city of the credit card. Must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
Country Select the appropriate billing country of the credit card from the list of countries.
State/Province If the Country is the United States, Canada, or Mexico, select the appropriate state/province from the State/Province list. For all other countries, the State/Province must not contain any of the following characters: !@#$%^*()_+={}|[]\:;<>?/~
Postal/Zip Code Enter the billing postal code of the credit card. A U.S. Zip Code format must be 5 or 9 digits (no dash). A Canadian Postal Code must be in the format AnAnAn, where ‘A’ is an uppercase letter and ‘n’ is a number. A Mexican Postal Code must be 5 digits.
Credit Card Type Select the appropriate credit card type from the list.
Credit Card Number Enter the credit card number. Must be digits only
Expiration Date Select the appropriate month and year from the Expiration Date list. Cannot be before the current date.
Security Code Enter the credit card security code. Must be digits only.
Cancel Click the Cancel button to cancel payment.
Submit Payment Click the Submit Payment button to submit credit card payment.

1.1.1.1.6 Help is provided for some of the "Do any of the following apply to you?" questions where the meanings are less clear:

Question Help
A) Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder; or are you a drug abuser or addict? Communicable Diseases
Under United States law communicable diseases of public health significance include:
  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Granuloma inguinale
  • Leprosy, infectious
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Syphilis, infectious stage
  • Tuberculosis, active
  • And others as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Physical or Mental Disorders
With regard to physical or mental disorders, answer ”Yes” to this question if:

(a) You currently have a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or

(b) You had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others and the behavior is likely to recur or lead to other harmful behavior. Answer ”No” if:

(a) You currently have no physical or mental disorders; or

(b) You have or had a physical or mental disorder without associated behavior that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare of that of others; or

(c) You currently have a physical or mental disorder with associated behavior, but that behavior has not posed, does not currently pose nor will pose a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or

(d) You had a physical or mental disorder with associated behavior that posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others, but that behavior is unlikely to recur.

Drug Abusers and Drug Addicts Under United States law persons may not be admissible if they have been determined to be a drug abuser or drug addict.

For further information refer to § 212(a)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(1)(A), and corresponding regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.

B) Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities? Crimes involving moral turpitude - Such offenses generally involve conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed to persons or society in general. There are factors, such as the age of the offender or the date of the offense, that may affect whether an offense will be considered a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

For further information refer to § 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2), § 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) and corresponding regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.

C) Are you seeking to work in the U.S.; or have you ever been excluded and deported; or been previously removed from the United States; or procured or attempted to procure a visa or entry into the U.S. by fraud or misrepresentation?

Individuals entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are admitted as non-immigrant alien visitors and may not seek employment in the United States. While Visa Waiver Program travelers may not seek employment in the United States, there are many classifications of non-immigrant and immigrant employment-sponsored visas for those who qualify.

For further information refer to § 212(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(5).

For further information on non-immigrant and immigrant employment visas, refer to www.travel.state.gov.
D) Have you ever detained, retained, or withheld custody of a child from a U.S. citizen granted custody of the child?

Any alien who, after entry of an order by a court in the United States granting custody to a person of a United States citizen child who detains or retains the child, or withholds custody of the child, outside the United States from the person granted custody by that order, is inadmissible until the child is surrendered to the person granted custody by that order.

For further information refer to § 212(a)(10)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(10)(C).

E) Have you ever asserted immunity from prosecution?

With regard to immunity from prosecution, answer ”Yes” to this question if all of the following apply:

(a) you have committed a serious criminal offense in the United States as defined in 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101(h), including any felony, at any time for which immunity from criminal jurisdiction was exercised; and

(b) as a consequence of the offense and exercise of immunity identified in (a), you have departed from the United States; and

(c) you have not subsequently submitted fully to the jurisdiction of the court in the United States having jurisdiction with respect to that offense.

For further information refer to § 212(a)(2)(E) and 101(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(E) and 1101(h).

Return to Top of Page


Source: ESTA Screen Level Online Help



Do travelers need to bring a paper printout of their travel authorization to the airport?

No. DHS will be able to communicate a traveler’s ESTA status to the carriers. However, DHS recommends that travelers print out the travel authorization application response in order to maintain a record of their traveler authorization application number and to have confirmation of their ESTA status.

Return to Top of Page




Is this Web site secure and private?

Yes. This Web site is operated by the United States Government and employs technology to prevent unauthorized access to the information you enter and view. Additionally, this Web site operates under the rules and regulations as specified by the United States Privacy Act and this is to insure the privacy of your information.

Return to Top of Page




What does my computer need to use the ESTA to submit an application for authorization to travel to the United States?

The minimum computer configuration includes:

  • An internet browser that supports 128-bit encryption.
  • If you are using Internet Explorer (Windows), the minimum version that works with this Web site is version 5.0, with service pack 2.
  • If you are using Netscape, the minimum version that works is version 6.2.

Return to Top of Page




Does a traveler ever need to reapply for a travel authorization through ESTA?

Yes, there may be instances when a new travel authorization via ESTA would be required. A new travel authorization may be required in any of the following circumstances:

  • The traveler is issued a new passport
  • The traveler changes his or her name
  • The traveler changes his or her gender
  • The traveler’s country of citizenship changes; or
  • The circumstances underlying the traveler’s previous responses to any of the ESTA application questions requiring a “yes” or “no” response have changed.

Travel authorization approvals will typically be granted for a period of two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever is sooner. ESTA will provide validity dates upon approval of the application. Therefore, a traveler must apply for a new travel authorization when a prior ESTA authorization or an applicant’s passport expires. The associated fee will be charged for each new application submitted.

Return to Top of Page




What information can I update?

Prior to submitting an electronic travel authorization application with the required payment information, you can update all application data fields except the passport number and passport issuing country. Once an application is complete and submitted with all the required payment information, you can still update any one of the following fields:

  • E-mail address
  • Telephone number
  • Carrier Information
  • City where you are boarding
  • Address while in the United States

Return to Top of Page




What should I do if the information on my passport has changed?

If you obtain a new passport or there is a change to your passport information, you must apply for a new travel authorization and pay the associated fees. See What information can I update? for a full listing of information that can be changed after submission of your application.

Return to Top of Page




How can travelers correct a mistake on their application?

The Web site will allow applicants to review and correct their data prior to submitting the application, including reconfirming the passport number. Prior to submitting an application with the required payment information, you can correct all application data fields except the passport number and passport issuing country. If an applicant made a mistake on their passport or biographical information he or she will need to submit a new application. Associated fee will be charged for each new application submitted. Any other mistakes may be corrected or updated by using the update function. If the traveler made a mistake in answering the eligibility questions, please see For inquiries or questions regarding this application, please click here at the bottom of each page.

Return to Top of Page




How can applicants correct a mistake on Passport Issuance Date or Passport Expiration Date after completing their travel authorization application in ESTA?

If an applicant enters the wrong Passport Issuance Date or Passport Expiration Date and realizes the mistake, after having submitted the ESTA application, the traveler will need to re-apply for a new travel authorization. The associated fee will be charged for each new application submitted. The old application will be automatically expired.

Return to Top of Page




Do travelers need to update their travel authorization if it will expire before they depart for the United States?

If a travel authorization expires before the traveler leaves the United States, the traveler is not required to apply for another. The traveler will need to apply for a new travel authorization through ESTA, however, for future travel.

Return to Top of Page




What if I want to update my application and do not have my Application Number?

ESTA allows the traveler to retrieve an Application Number on the Welcome Page. The traveler clicks on the link “If you are missing your Application Number, please click here. ESTA asks for the entry of the last name, first name, date of birth, passport number, and passport issuing country.

If any active application does not exist for the data entered, ESTA displays an error message. If an active application exists for the data entered, ESTA displays the Application Number of the most recent application.

Return to Top of Page




Is there a fee for a travel authorization?

Yes, there is a fee associated with the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. The fee is comprised of two parts:

  • Processing Fee. All applicants requesting an electronic travel authorization are charged for the processing of the application.
  • Authorization Fee. If your application is approved and you receive authorization to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, an additional $10.00 will be charged to your credit card. If your electronic travel authorization is denied, you are only charged for the processing of your application.

CBP is not responsible for any additional fees that may be charged by your credit card company for the transaction.

Return to Top of Page




How do I pay for my travel authorization?

All payments for electronic travel authorization applications must be made by credit card. The ESTA system currently accepts only the following credit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club). Your application will not be submitted for processing until all payment information is received.

Return to Top of Page




Is the credit card information I use for payment secure?

Yes. The ESTA system does not retain your credit card information after the transaction is processed.

Return to Top of Page




How does the U. S. government protect the privacy of ESTA data and who has access to it?

Information submitted by applicants through the ESTA Web site is subject to the same strict privacy provisions and controls that have been established for similar traveler screening programs. Access to such information is limited to those with a professional need to know.

Return to Top of Page




How long is the travel authorization application data stored?

ESTA application data remains active for the period of time that the approved ESTA is valid, which is generally two years, or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. DHS will then maintain this information for an additional year after which it will be archived for twelve years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Once the information is archived, the number of officials with access to it will be further limited. This retention is consistent both with CBP’s border search authority and with the border security mission mandated for CBP by Congress. Data linked to active law enforcement lookout records, CBP matches to enforcement activities, and/or investigations or cases, including applications for ESTA that are denied, will remain accessible for the life of the law enforcement activities to which they are related.

As DHS transitions to a paperless I-94W, the ESTA application data will replace the data that is collected through the paper I-94W. In those instances where ESTA application data is used in lieu of the information collected through the paper I-94W, the ESTA application data will be maintained in accordance with the retention schedule for the I-94W, 75 years.

Return to Top of Page




Does DHS share ESTA data with others?

The information collected by and maintained in ESTA may be used by other components of DHS on a need-to-know basis consistent with the component’s mission.

Under current agreements between DHS and the Department of State (DOS), information submitted during an ESTA application may be shared with consular officers of DOS to assist them in determining whether a visa should be issued to an applicant after a travel authorization application has been denied.

Information may be shared with appropriate federal, state, local, tribal, and foreign governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations responsible for investigating or prosecuting the violations of, or for enforcing or implementing, a statute, rule, regulation, order or license, or where DHS believes information would assist enforcement of civil or criminal laws. Additionally, information may be shared when DHS reasonably believes such use is to assist in anti-terrorism efforts or intelligence gathering related to national or international security or transnational crime. All sharing will remain consistent with the Privacy Act System of Records Notice, which was published in the Federal Register on June 10, 2008 and is available on the DHS Web site.

While carriers will not receive the ESTA application information that travelers provide to DHS, they will receive confirmation of a passenger’s ESTA status via the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS)/APIS Quick Query (AQQ) system indicating whether an ESTA is required and whether authorization has been granted.

Return to Top of Page




What should a traveler do if he or she is not approved for travel through ESTA?

If an ESTA application is denied and the traveler wishes to continue with the trip, the traveler will be required to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For more about visa application procedures, please visit www.travel.state.gov.

Return to Top of Page




Should a traveler not authorized for travel through ESTA reapply?

If an ESTA application is not approved (“Travel Not Authorized”), a traveler may reapply for travel authorization through ESTA. A fee will be charged for each new application submitted. Unless the circumstances have changed, the traveler will not qualify for an ESTA and will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the United States. In addition, reapplying with false information for the purposes of qualifying for a travel authorization could make the traveler permanently ineligible for travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

Return to Top of Page




How can a traveler find out the reason a travel authorization was denied?

DHS has carefully developed the ESTA program to ensure that only those individuals who are ineligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program or those whose travel would pose a law enforcement or security risk are refused a travel authorization. While the ESTA Web site provides a link to the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) Web site, there are no guarantees that a request for redress through DHS TRIP will resolve the Visa Waiver Program ineligibility that caused an applicant’s ESTA application to be denied.

Please note that Embassies and Consulates are not able to provide details about ESTA denials or resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial. Embassies and Consulates will be able to process an application for a non-immigrant visa that, if approved, will be the only way that a traveler whose ESTA application has been denied would be authorized to travel to the United States.

Return to Top of Page




If a traveler was denied approval and needs to travel immediately, is it possible to get an emergency visa appointment at a United States Embassy or Consulate?

Unfortunately, the Department of State is unable to guarantee next-day appointments because of varying demand for visas. Information about the appointment process is available at the nearest consular section or at www.travel.state.gov. As a result, travelers are encouraged to apply for an ESTA approval far in advance of the proposed travel.

Return to Top of Page




Articles related to this topic

  • Adjustment of Status

  • Videos related
    Author
    Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 30 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..
    Click-to-Call us

    Use our automated
    Click-to-call to contact Apsan Law Offices, LLC. or
    call directly at
    1(877) 873-8510

    Click to call immigration lawyers


    nj immigration lawyers
    Sign up

    PayPal
    Consultation & Installments
    Immigration news
    New York -- Tomorrow, November 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST, at a televised speech positioning the plan. President Barack Obama will reveal the much-expected immigration plan, Thus, altering the rules for d...
    It looks like President Obama is singing an old Paul McCartney tune: "I've had enoughI can't put up with any moreNo no no no no no noI've had enoughI can't put up with any moreNo no no no no no...
    If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he probably would have cringed when he realized that his own party, the Republican Party, has been blocking the way for a comprehensive immigration reform. A law...
    President Obama is angry. Following a year of trying to convince Congress to pass an immigration reform law, President Obama vented his fury today in a scorching White House speech, saying it's ti...
    June 4, 2014 - É possível uma ordem executiva prestar socorro imediato a determinadas disposições das leis draconianas em vigor daimigração, mesmo enquanto se...
    June 4, 2014 - É possível uma ordem executiva prestar socorro imediato a determinadas disposições das leis draconianas em vigor daimigração, mesmo enquanto se...
    When an immigration case has run its’ course and the alien has not violated the terms of the bond, ICE cancels the immigration bond. Once this is done, ICE notifies the Debt Management Cente...
    June 6, 2014 - Washington D.C. On this day, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed the public of its’ new renewal system for the many thousands of youths who were gr...
    The multinational company, TelexFREE, recently shut down in Brazil is being investigated by the Secretary of the State  in Massachusetts, triggered by TelexFree’s filing for federal ban...
    This past Monday, Multinational company, TelexFree, filed for bankruptcy protection in a federal court in Nevada. The next day FBI and Homeland Security agents raided the company’s offi...
    The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), has made available an immigration courts’ 800 Phone Number, which allows anyone to obtain information about their case though its automate...
    While Congress languishes on agreement to comprehensive immigration reform, a pro-immigration movement is sweeping the individual states. According to NCSL report for 2013, 184 laws were enacted a...
      CALABASAS, Calif. It seems that the more famous you are, the greater the chance of screwing up. Such is the case of Justin Bieber, a Canadian citizen, who is facing felony charges for alle...
    Immigration reform has been the perennial Ping-Pong in Congressional politics. Democrats are constantly on the march for comprehensive immigration laws, while ((Republican fear the word comprehensive,...
    Thousands of intending immigrants apply for U.S. residency every year. As part of the process, each applicant must have their fingerprint taken and processed through many agencies, such as the FBI, In...
    Attaining equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has been a pressing civil rights issue created by our malfunctioning immigration system. The problem is heightene...
    Source: apsanlaw.com After weeks of contentious debate all 52 Democrats, as well as 14 Conservatives and two independents were responsible for the passage of the Senate Bill S.744, a landmark imm...
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the statutory maximum 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (U visas) for fiscal year 2014. This marks th...