ESTA Validity

ESTA Validity

ESTA is a two-year travel authorization that allows you to travel multiple times to the USA for stays no longer than 90 days. The validity of your ESTA is directly linked to the validity of your passport, so it is important to keep an eye on their expiration dates. Find out everything you need to know about the validity of your ESTA here.

ESTA

The official travel authorization for your trip to the USA!

How long is my ESTA valid?

ESTA is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires. It depends on which happens earlier. As long as the ESTA holder still meets the requirements for visa-free travel, they can enter or exit the USA during this time period without re-applying.

A new ESTA must be applied for if:

  • You get a new passport
  • Your name changes due to marriage, divorce, adoption, etc.
  • Your sex changes
  • Your citizenship changes
  • Your answers to the security questions change

 If you move within your country, your ESTA is still valid. Before traveling to the USA, you should always make sure that your ESTA is still valid.

ESTA is valid for 2 years and allows you to travel multiple times to the USA for stays up to 90 days!

How do I find out if my ESTA is still valid?

You can check the status of your current ESTA online on the official website of the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection. If you included your e-mail address in your application, then you will receive an e-mail 30 days before your ESTA expires from the US authorities.  

How long can I stay in the USA with an ESTA?

On each trip to the USA, you can stay for up to 90 days with an ESTA. The length of your stay in the USA is decided by the border officer on the border. This means the they decide if you get to stay for the full 90 days or have the right to give you less days. It is important to be able to show a return flight ending in a country other than Mexico, Canada or any in the Caribbean. Check to make sure that your ESTA is valid for the entirety of your stay in the USA. 

Can I travel to the USA multiple times with an ESTA?

As long as your ESTA is valid, there is nothing stopping you from traveling to the USA with the same ESTA. This travel authorization must be renewed every two years. Keep in mind, however, that ESTA does not guarantee your entry into the USA. If you fly frequently, the border officer may suspect that you are trying to move to the USA. They have the right to prevent you from entering the USA and will send you on the next flight back home. Generally, travelling to the USA for a second time with the same ESTA is not a problem. 

Tip

When traveling with an ESTA, try to spend more time in your home country between trips to the USA. Bring proof of your connections to your home country like work or housing contracts.

Even though it is not required, we do recommending updating your US address in your ESTA application if it changes. You don’t want to take any risks. You cannot, however, change the US contact person given in your application. 

Does the 90-day rule apply to every US trip?

Generally, travelers get to stay in the USA for 90 days. This does not include trips in and out of Mexico and Canada. When reentering the USA, it is highly unlikely that the border officer will renew your 90-day stay and your departure date will not change. In the end, it all depends on the border officer who decides if you can enter the USA and for how long.

Every time you enter the USA, it is vital to check the stamp in your passport to see how long you are allowed to stay. 

Is my ESTA still valid if I get a new passport?

No, as soon as you get a new passport, your previous ESTA becomes invalid. It is irrelevant if your ESTA is still valid because your travel authorization is directly linked to your passport. A new passport means that you must apply for a new ESTA.

ESTA is directly linked to your passport. As soon as you get a new passport, you have to apply for a new ESTA.

How long must my passport be valid for ESTA?

How long your passport must be valid for an ESTA depends on the country of your citizenship. As a general rule, your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months after departing the USA. That means it must be valid for the entire length of your stay in the USA plus an additional 6 months.

The majority of people traveling visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program are in the so-called “Six-Month Club”. Travelers from, for example Germany, Spain or Kosovo, are required to have a passport that is only valid for their intended period of stay in the USA with an ESTA.

Why is ESTA only valid for 2 years?

A person’s life can change quickly and often. That is why the ESTA travel authorization is only valid for 2 years. As soon as you marry, for example, you will need a new ESTA. Furthermore, you must update information which could possibly lead to your ESTA being denied (e.g. contagious decease, criminal convictions, etc.) Having a defined period of validity allows the US authorities to check if ESTA applicants continue to meet the requirements of the Visa Waiver Program.

Can I renew an existing ESTA?

No, you cannot renew an ESTA. An authorized ESTA is only ever valid for two years. As soon as your ESTA is invalid, you must apply for a new one. You do not have to apply for a new ESTA if you move within your country or travel to the USA again.

You can apply for a new ESTA even if your current one is still valid. You can do this if the validity of your current ESTA is not long enough for your entire stay in the USA. As soon as your new ESTA is authorized, the old one automatically becomes invalid and you are only allowed to use the new one.

Can I stay in the USA longer than 90 days with an ESTA?

No, the maximum number of days you can stay in the USA with an ESTA is 90 and generally cannot be extended. If you do not depart from the USA on time, you will be staying in the USA illegally. This can have consequences on future US trips. If you want to stay in the USA longer than 90 days, then you must apply for an appropriate visa (e.g. B1 or B2 visa) beforehand.

Those who want to stay in the USA for longer than 90 days must apply for an appropriate US visa!

Only in individual cases will the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allow ESTA travelers to stay longer in the USA. Extensions are allowed rare cases like when flights are delayed for days because of strikes or weather, medical health, etc. which make leaving the USA impossible. It is of the upmost importance to turn to the USCIS and provide proof for why you had to stay longer.