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Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

All nationals or citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries who plan to travel to the United States for temporary business or pleasure require an approved ESTA prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. This does not apply to U.S. citizens traveling abroad.

Apply for ESTA:

An approved ESTA travel authorization:

  • is required for all travelers, independant of age
  • should be done at least 72 hours before travel.  Registration can, however, be done until shortly before check-in at the Airport.
  • is valid for up to two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first;
  • is valid for multiple entries into the U.S.; and
  • does not a guarantee of admissibility to the United States at a port of entry. ESTA approval only authorizes a traveler to board a carrier for travel to the U.S. under the VWP. In all cases, CBP officers make admissibility determinations at our ports of entry.
  • costs 14 U.S. Dollars (ESTA Fee FAQs)

More Information

ESTA Advisory Statement
VWP travelers should be aware that unauthorized third-parties have established Web sites, which charge visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the VWP, for information about ESTA and for submitting ESTA applications to DHS on behalf of the traveler. These businesses and Web sites are not endorsed by, associated with, or affiliated in any way with DHS or the United States Government.

Use of a private service to apply for travel authorization via ESTA will not expedite the granting of approval.

If you were Refused an ESTA clearance
If an application for travel authorization is denied and the traveler wishes to continue with the trip, he/she will be required to apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For more about visa application procedures, please visit

Visit the Official ESTA site

  • ESTA Logo - Visit the official ESTA Site


  • Kinderreisepässe & Travel to the U.S.
    Children's passports (Kinderreisepässe) are not valid for travel on the Visa Waiver Program unless issued or extended on or before October 26, 2006. All children's ID (Kinderausweis) are not valid for visa free travel to the U.S. Children travelling on a Kinderreisepass issued after October 26, 2006 or a Kinderausweis need a visa to travel to the U.S. Children must have their own e-passport in order to travel without a visa.

    View full list of German passports that are valid for the Visa Waiver Program.