News report | | 30-01-2018 | ±2 minutes reading time

Travellers that have ever been to Iran or Iraq are not always able to apply for an ESTA. This also holds for travellers that have ever been to Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya or Somalia. This concerns trips that were made after 1 March 2011. People that possess a passport issued by Iran, Iraq, or one of the other countries mentioned above generally do not qualify for an ESTA to travel to the USA.

IranIran

Visit to Iran or Iraq after 1 March 2011

Were you in Iraq or Iran before 2011, but you have never held an Iranian or Iraqi passport? Then you can submit an ESTA application as normal. You no longer qualify for an ESTA if you were in Iran or Iraq after 1 March of 2011. The same holds if you have been to Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya or Somalia since this time.

I (used to) possess an Iranian or Iraqi passport

Do you hold a passport that was issued by Iran or Iraq? Then you do not qualify for an ESTA to travel to the USA. This also applies to passports that were issued by Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya or Somalia. Even if you also possess a passport from a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program (such as the UK), it is not possible to apply for an ESTA. This exclusion even applies if you ever (at any point) possessed a passport issued by Iran, Iraq or one of the other countries mentioned above. Even if this was before 2011.

How to still travel to the USA

If due to your travel history you do not qualify for an ESTA, this does not automatically mean that you cannot travel to the USA period. It simply means that you need to follow a different route to get the correct travel authorisation. In that case, you can go to the US embassy, where you can apply for a non-immigrant visa. Usually, an extensive background check regarding your travels to Iran or Iraq is required.

Take note: this news article about the ESTA for the USA is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the ESTA for the USA.

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the USA ESTA. 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. We also check your application 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 immediately 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 € 24,78 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 USA ESTA has been rejected for the same traveller before). Read more about our services here.