Travellers to the United States are required to obtain a visa or an ESTA. Applying for an ESTA is simpler than applying for a visa. To be able to travel with an ESTA, you must meet all the requirements mentioned on this page. Carefully read the information below before submitting your application.

Requirements ESTA USA

Do you meet all the requirements listed on this page?
In this case, you do not have to apply for a visa for your trip to the United States. Instead, you can apply for an ESTA using a simple online form.
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Requirements relating to the purpose of travel

The following travel purposes do meet the requirements of the ESTA:

  • Tourism trips.
  • Visits to friends or family.
  • Visits to customers or suppliers.
  • Medical treatments.
  • Participation in professional meetings, negotiations and conferences.
  • Transits.

The following travel purposes do not meet the requirements of the ESTA:

  • Working for an American employer.
  • Attending studies in the United States.
  • Investing in or founding an American company.
  • Carrying out journalistic activities.

Working in the United States with an ESTA is allowed if the traveller is not employed by an American organisation. Travellers may be paid for working in the United States, but only if the paying employer is based outside the United States. In this case, the trip qualifies as a business trip and meets the requirements of the ESTA.

Requirements relating to travel planning

While planning the trip, it is already necessary to consider the following requirements of the ESTA:

  • All travellers must comply with Covid-19 prevention measures.
  • The maximum length of stay with an ESTA is 90 days from the moment of arrival in the United States. This includes not only the duration of stay in the United States, but also any intermediate or consecutive stay in Canada, Mexico and/or the Caribbean islands.
  • When you arrive in the United States, you must be able to show a return or transit ticket.
  • Travellers holding an ESTA may not apply for a visa, residence permit or extension of the permitted duration of stay after arriving in the United States.
  • Applying for an ESTA is not sufficient if travelling by private plane or ship.
  • Since October 2022, an ESTA is also mandatory for travellers arriving in the United States by land.

ESTA requirements and Visa Waiver ProgramRequirements of the ESTA, the electronic travel authorisation for the United States

Requirements relating to the passport

To apply for an ESTA, your passport must meet certain requirements.

  • It must be a biometric passport issued by a Visa Waiver Program designated country, such as the UK or Ireland. Biometric passports contain a digital chip and are also known as digital passports or e-passports.
  • Your passport must be valid throughout your entire stay in the USA.
  • It is not possible to apply for an ESTA with an emergency passport or a German child passport (Kinderreisepass), as these do not contain a digital chip. It is also not possible to apply for an ESTA with a residence permit.

Requirements relating to the traveller’s background

To qualify for an ESTA, the traveller must be a national of the United Kingdom, Ireland, or one of these other countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.

In addition, travellers must meet a number of requirements regarding their background and travel history. In the following cases, travellers do not meet the ESTA requirements and need a visa to travel to the United States. Travellers cannot apply for an ESTA USA if they:

  • have been in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, North Korea or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011*;
  • have ever been citizens of Iraq, Syria, Sudan, North Korea or Iran;
  • have been in Cuba on or after 12 January 2021;
  • suffer from a physical or mental condition that makes them a potential risk to their immediate environment;
  • have ever been arrested or condemned for a crime resulting in serious harm or injury**;
  • use drugs or have ever broken a law regarding possession, distribution or use of drugs;
  • have ever violated a visa-related law of the United States before;
  • were ever denied a visa application for the United States, were ever rejected from entering the United States or were ever deported from the country.

* In some cases, travellers who visited these countries for military purposes or official state affairs may be eligible for an exemption.
** This does not include fines for traffic violations, unless the traffic violation resulted in serious damage or injury.

Requirements relating to the statement of agreement

Finally, in order to submit an ESTA application, travellers must accept the statement of agreement at the end of the ESTA form. By agreeing to this statement, travellers declare that:

  • they agree that the U.S. Customs & Border Protection will take biometric data, including fingerprints, upon arrival in the United States;
  • they do not represent a threat to public health, public order and law enforcement in the USA;
  • they do not participate or have participated in acts of sabotage, espionage, terrorism and/or genocide;
  • they are aware that the granting of an ESTA does not guarantee entry to the USA and that they may still be refused entry if, upon arrival in the USA, the immigration authorities consider that they pose a threat to the security or public order of the country.

Exceptions to the ESTA requirements

Travellers who hold a valid US or Canadian passport, a visa for the United States or a US residence permit do not need an ESTA and are therefore exempt from the requirements listed on this page.

Do you meet the requirements?

If you meet all the requirements, click the button below to apply for your ESTA.
Submit your ESTA application now

Do you not meet all the ESTA requirements? Then you cannot apply for this travel authorisation and will need a US visa to still be able to travel to the United States.

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 € 30,72 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.