Friday, January 7, 2011

ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization

We get many questions from our clients regarding the ESTA, which is mandatory for many foreign travelers to the United States.

While it is advisable to visit the website of the Department of State for questions and answers, we wanted to let you know about one of the most asked question:

How long is my ESTA approval good for?

Your ESTA authorization is generally valid for two years*. This means that as long as you received an ESTA authorization to travel, you do not have to reapply for two years. You may update your travel information; however this information is optional and is not required.  Note: Is it important to PRINT a copy of the document upon approval as it contains your ESTA number that may be needed for reference purposes.
Receiving ESTA authorization does not mean you may stay in the U.S. for two years. It only allows you to travel to the U.S. under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which only allows you to stay in the U.S. for 90 days or less. If you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you must obtain a visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
*If you obtain a new passport or change your name, gender or country of citizenship, you will be required to apply for a new travel authorization. This is also required if one of your answers to any of the VWP eligibility questions changes.  Since September 8, 2010, the associated fee of $14 is being charged for each new application submitted.


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