Authorisation to enter the United States
In accordance with ESTA regulations which entered into force on 1 August 2008, international travellers travelling to the United States must arrange a travel authorisation as soon as possible, but not less than 72 hours before the departure of their international flight.
Due to changes in the ESTA application process, real-time approvals will no longer be available. Passengers who apply for it on the same day of their flight departure are at risk of not having the ESTA approved before leaving. International travellers without the ESTA approval cannot embark on their flight to the United States.
How do I do it?
To do so, you must go to the website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and follow the steps carefully. The information submitted here will be encrypted and will be completely confidential. The reference number of the response must be saved.
The information is available in the official languages of the 34 countries included in the list drafted by the USA. These are the countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the USA for a stay not exceeding 90 days.
Does the authorisation expire?
The ESTA authorisation is valid for two years or until the passport has expired. You can access the page and complete the questionnaire without having the plane or boat ticket. Once you have been given the reference number by the system, and once you have chosen the dates and booked the trip, you can go back to the page, enter this reference number and fill in the missing details. You can update your information as many times as you need, provided that you remember the reference number. The deadline for making changes is 72 hours before flying.
What if I have to go to the USA urgently?
You will have to contact the US consulate in your jurisdiction and ask for assistance.
What do I do if I have been denied the ESTA?
You must contact the consulate to request a visa.
Do minors need the ESTA?
Yes, each and every traveller must have the authorisation of the US Government.
Do I need supporting documentation?
No, although the Embassy recommends that you print your application and the corresponding approval.
If I have a visa, do I need the ESTA?
No. Any visa holder can enter and leave the United States whenever they want if their situation has not changed.
Does the ESTA guarantee entry into the USA?
No. Border authorities are tasked with giving the final approval.
To check in online, you must enter:
- Booking reference or ticket number.
- The first surname of the passenger who wishes to check in. If it has 4 letters or fewer, the second surname must be added.
Blunt, spiked or sharp objects are some of the prohibited items in the aircraft cabin. For more information please see our section on "Prohibited objects".
If you are carrying valuable items in your baggage, you can register this circumstance by making a special value declaration.