Applying for and Renewing your ESTA

For those who have gone on a number of trips overseas, perhaps one of the most stressful things in the whole experience of traveling is the visa application. The visa poses a major constraint for those who wish to go to certain countries, such as the United States of America. Many fear that they will not be granted a travel visa. Others worry about renewal or if it's even possible.

Now, all thanks to the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), more and more people can now go to the US even without a travel visa. If you're a citizen or a passport-holder of any one of the countries included in the VWP, all you need is to secure a travel authorization, also known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

ESTA Reconfirmation

The ESTA is a mechanism that evaluates and grants visa-free eligibility to passport-holders and nationals of the countries included in the VWP. The ESTA is good for a number of reasons:

  • It is online, hence travelers need not worry about embassy or consulate visits which can take time.
  • The requirements are simpler and fewer compared to the visa requirements.
  • It is good for last minute travellers as they can secure their authorization at most 72 hours before their departure and get the results in just a couple of hours.
  • The ESTA serves just like a travel visa as it is good for two years and for multiple visits to the US.
  • There are no problems in cases of ESTA renewal as one undergoes the same requirements and the same process as the first application.

The ESTA only requires that you have your electronic passport which contains your biographic information, the ESTA application form, and a credit card for the payment of your application. One important item to remember is the application number given to you after you have submitted and processed your application. This application also doubles as your authorization's reference number. Upon release of your authorization, this application number appears alongside the expiration date of your authorization.
Esta Help is available online, with 24/7 customer service offering unlimited support for those with questions and concerns regarding their ESTA application.


The ESTA Renewal
What you need to know

Most people forget that the ESTA is not a travel visa and because it isn't, the validity of the authorization is considerably shorter than a travel visa, which may be good for up to five, even 10 years.

ESTA renewal is therefore important, especially if there is a plan to go back and visit the United States. Such ESTA renewal is especially important for businessmen and professionals who need to make occasional visits to the United States for business reasons.

Likewise, ESTA renewal should be done if you've been issued a new passport if it has expired.

Also, any changes in your passport, such as legal changes in your name will require a renewal of the ESTA. Since your personal details have changed, the profile on your authorization must also be updated with these changes as your authorization is linked to your passport.

Unless you prefer to secure a travel visa, it is important to have a valid travel authorization for easier travel, so it is best to always make sure that your authorization is not void or expired.

The process of ESTA renewal is similar to the application process. In fact, it is essentially applying for a new travel authorization. The ESTA renewal is carried out on the ESTA website and requires the same documents you prepared for your initial application.

Once you renew your ESTA, you are making obsolete your previous authorization and the new application number is what you use for your next travel to the United States

ESTA renewal

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