The ESTA is a great way to travel legally. It allows people from outside the USA to enter the country for up to 24 months, and during that time, they can take as many trips as they want with no time limit! Trips cannot last longer than 3 months (or more precisely 90 days).
For various reasons, an ESTA may be invalidated earlier. A terminated or expired ESTA will not be reactivated or corrected, but an application can be resubmitted.
Your passport and ESTA are linked
Information from your passport must be entered at the time of application for an ESTA USA to work. Therefore, you cannot travel to the U.S. using a different passport unless you reapply for an ESTA. The validity of an ESTA travel authorization issued for a passport that has expired also expires. If an ESTA is submitted incorrectly, the authorization will expire.
If your passport is about to expire, you must request a new one before requesting a new ESTA. This is necessary because the new passport number must be provided during the ESTA application process. You can also apply for an ESTA in case of emergency. Most applications are expedited and processed the same day.
Under what circumstances can an ESTA be valid for less than the official two years?
If your ESTA is valid for two years, it will eventually expire if:
- If the traveler has overridden the travel requirements on an ESTA, then it will expire;
- The information you gave during your ESTA procedure is outdated;
- The visitor exceeds the travel time allowed by the ESTA and does not plan to leave the country;
- If you are traveling to the USA using a different passport from the one on which your ESTA application was submitted, you will need to obtain a new one.
The duration of stay for a single trip on an ESTA USA is 90 days.
It is permitted to enter the USA without limit during the 2-year duration of the ESTA. A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days in the United States under ESTA. You can only use an ESTA for tourism or business purposes. The most common reason for obtaining an ESTA is to transit through the United States, but there are a number of other useful reasons, including visiting friends or relatives.
How about a brief vacation to Canada/Mexico or another tropical Caribbean destination?
Your secondary travel will be included in your 90-day validity period if you spend time outside the United States during or after a visit to a country like Canada, Mexico or Caribbean countries.
For example, let's say you are visiting Canada. You enter the U.S. with an ESTA, where you stay for 50 days, then go to Canada for 30 days. If you return to the U.S., you can stay an additional 10 days instead of 90, because your ESTA duration will be deducted from 80 days. On the other hand, if you went to Peru, your second visit to the USA will be extended to 90 days.
Is there a time limit between two visits to the USA on an ESTA?
The validity period of 90 days does not begin when you depart the USA for a few days and return. It only starts again if you are departing the USA for an extended period of time (so if you leave for a 2-day flight to Peru and then return, your application could be denied). There is no formal minimum length of time required between visits to the USA with an ESTA. A customs officer will assess the circumstances when you arrive in the USA. If you are investigated for temporarily leaving the United States to renew the 90-day period, your ESTA will be considered invalid. If you wish to remain in the United States for an extended period of time, you may apply for a valid visa for which these restrictions do not apply.
Are there any other circumstances under which the validity of an ESTA would end?
Besides your maximum stay and your passport's validity, some other factors should be considered when you apply for an ESTA.
The information given on the ESTA form is insufficient or incorrect
If the application form for ESTA has been filled out incompletely or incorrectly, it may be approved without being validated. Immigration has no immediate access to all the data on each traveler, and is unable to identify individual flaws in many cases. For example, the application will not be rejected because of an incorrect date of birth. In this case, an ESTA will be authorized, but not effective. At check-in, they may not realize there is a problem until the airlines inform them. Since the information was obtained based on incorrect information, the airline is not able to verify it and is not responsible. If your ESTA application is denied or invalid, you must submit a new one.
What happens if your information during the ESTA process is not accurate?
Your ESTA may be terminated if your circumstances have changed and the information you provided when you applied for ESTA becomes invalid. Here are some examples of when the ESTA is terminated immediately:
- Last name has changed (for example, if you get married);
- If your status has recently changed and you are unable to answer " No " to the security questions (due to a conviction, for example);
- You have recently moved to a new country;
- You have changed your gender or nationality;
- A newly issued passport.