After being granted, the ESTA is valid for two years, during which its holder may travel to the US an unlimited amount of times. However, each stay may last up to 90 days. An ESTA might also expire earlier. It is not allowed to extend an ESTA or to correct data after it has been granted, but it is allowed to submit a new application.
In which cases is the ESTA valid for less than two years?
An ESTA will expire in less than two years under these circumstances:
- the traveller is travelling with a passport other than the one used to submit the ESTA application;
- the ESTA application form has been filled in incorrectly or only partially;
- certain information provided in the ESTA application form is no longer true*;
- the traveller stays in the United States longer than 90 consecutive days;
- the traveller no longer meets the requirements to travel with an ESTA;
* Read this page to find out in which cases the ESTA USA is invalidated and in which cases it remains valid.
Each stay may last up to 90 consecutive days
During the two-year validity period, the ESTA allows an unlimited amount of trips to the US, but each stay may not last longer than 90 consecutive days. An ESTA USA is only valid when the holder fulfils all conditions. For example, the travel authorisation may only be used for tourism or for business trips (transiting through the US, visiting friends or family, et cetera).
Trips to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean
If you travel to Mexico, Canada or a Caribbean island during or immediately after your stay in the USA with an ESTA, the stay in that country will count towards the permitted 90-day stay.
Example: you travel to the US with an ESTA, stay for 60 days, then travel to Mexico and stay there for 20 days. In that case, your ESTA allows you to spend 10 more days in the United States. If you travel (for example) to Europe between your two stays in the USA, the 90-day validity will reset.
Minimum period between two trips with an ESTA
Travellers are not allowed to leave the USA and return shortly after to reset the 90-day validity period. There is no official rule regarding the minimum period between two trips to the USA with the same ESTA, but the officers at the U.S. Customs & Border Protection will assess the situation upon arrival. If the traveller is suspected of leaving the USA only to reset the 90-day validity period, the ESTA will be invalidated.
If you wish to stay in the USA longer than allowed with an ESTA, you may apply for a visa that allows a longer stay in the USA.
Each valid ESTA is linked to a passport
An ESTA is always linked to the passport with which it was applied for. Therefore, it is not allowed to travel to the USA with another passport without applying for a new ESTA. Once a passport expires, the ESTA linked to that passport also expires. If your ESTA was granted on the basis of erroneous data, it is not valid.
Is your passport expiring soon? Then you should apply for a new passport before applying for an ESTA, as you will have to provide your new passport number while filling in the ESTA application form. If necessary, you can make use of the urgent application procedure offered by most local authorities to get a new passport quicker. The same is true for your ESTA application. Urgent ESTA applications are processed in 60 minutes on average.
Reasons why an ESTA might expire
Besides the maximum duration of stay in the USA and passport validity, there are a number of things to consider in relation to the validity of an ESTA USA.
The information provided is incorrect or incomplete
If the ESTA application form is (knowingly or unknowingly) filled in incorrectly or only partially, the ESTA might still be granted, but it will be invalid. Since the American immigration service does not have the data of all travellers at disposal, input errors might go unnoticed. For example, if you provide an incorrect date of birth, your ESTA will still be granted, but it will not be valid. Sometimes travellers find it out at check-in, when the airline states that there is no valid ESTA linked to the passport. The fact that the application was approved based on incorrect data cannot be verified by the airline and is also irrelevant. The only way to solve this problem is to submit a new ESTA application with the correct information.
The information provided is no longer true
If the traveller’s situation changes in a way that makes the information provided false, the ESTA might be invalidated. The ESTA is immediately invalidated if the traveller:
- gets a new passport;
- changes their name or surname;
- changes their nationality or gender;
- moves to a new country;
- can no longer answer "No" to the security questions.
The ESTA stays valid if the traveller:
- moves to a new place in the same country;
- has a different contact person than the one indicated in the application form;
- changes the date of travel or the address of their stay in the USA;
- intends to travel to the USA for different purposes*
* In this case, the ESTA will stay valid if the new travel purpose meets the requirements to travel with an ESTA.
e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the ESTA USA. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an ESTA directly with the immigration service (21 USD per ESTA, via esta.cbp.dhs.gov). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 21 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 30,59 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous ESTA USA was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.