How Long Does an ESTA take to Process?

Electronic System for Travel Authorization ESTA application is an automated process that approves your eligibility of traveling to the United States of America under the Visa Waiver Program. In this post, we will highlight how long it takes to process an ESTA application. Read this article to know more.

The USA is indeed a wonderful option when it comes to spending a vacation. If you are planning a trip to the USA, it is mandatory to apply for an ESTA application in advance so that you can set foot in the country lawfully. ESTA, also known as Electronic System for Travel Authorization is a travel-permission that allows the citizens of all VWP nations to enter the USA.

• You can obtain your ESTA for business, transit, pleasure trip, or medical purposes only if you hold a biometric passport from your VWP country.

• Applicants having an older version of passport would be unable to apply; thus, ensure you get your passport renewed in advance.

• Make sure you have a valid passport as your passport’s expiry date should meet the ESTA requirements. Your passport should have a minimum of six months validity left after you land in the USA.
ESTA Application Process

The ESTA application process is quite trouble free; nevertheless, you need to do it appropriately without the least blunder. When you apply for an ESTA application, you will be asked to provide multiple information such as your passport details, employment status, the name of the organization you work for, and the purpose of visiting the USA. This information is required to determine if you are going on a business tour, medical reasons, or for a pleasure trip; this also ensures that you are visiting the USA not to reside there or work.

Be Honest

You also need to fill out multiple eligibility questions. This is a crucial part of the ESTA application as the questions asked in this section are related to your history (family, employment, contagious disease, criminal convictions, malicious intentions, etc.). Make sure you answer each question related to your background sincerely. If you provide incorrect or misleading answers thinking your application will get denied owing to one of these queries, you will be made ineligible for ESTA permanently.

Last but not least, pay the ESTA registration fees, and you are done.

ESTA Approval Time
Once you apply for an ESTA application, it generally gets processed and approved within 72 hours.

• As soon as you’re application gets approved, you receive an approval notification via email. The notification sent to you will consist of your application number and your ESTA expiry date along with other miscellaneous information about you.

If your ESTA application status shows “authorization pending” even after 72 hours, you should wait for few more hours and recheck you status.

Here are a few factors that delay the processing time of an ESTA application:
• ESTA website problems;

• Technical glitches experienced by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) systems;

• Payment processing issues arising due to your chosen payment procedure; thus, if you do not receive any notification within 24 hours of submitting your application, you should immediately check the status of the same.
If your application status shows “travel not authorized” do not panic as this status indicates you did not fill out the application properly. In such a situation, wait for 24 hours and apply for ESTA once again.

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