Posted: 2017-09-11 21:13
An approved travel authorization is not a visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a United States visa when a visa is required under United States law. Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for a travel authorization.
ESTA is not a visa. It does not meet the legal requirements to serve in lieu of a . visa when a visa is required. Travelers that possess a valid . visa may travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose it was issued. Travelers traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for an ESTA. In the same way that a valid visa does not guarantee admission to the United States, an approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admission to the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security and the United States Customs and Border Protection have provided a secure public Web site with an automated form for you, or a third party, to complete in order to apply for a travel authorization. Once you enter the required biographic, travel, and payment information on the secure Web site, your application is processed by the system to determine if you are eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program without a visa. The system will provide you with an automated response, and prior to boarding, a carrier will electronically verify with the United States Customs and Border Protection that you have an approved travel authorization on file.
ESTA application data remains active for the period of time that the approved ESTA is valid, which is generally two years, or until the traveler's passport expires, whichever comes first. DHS will then maintain this information for an additional year after which it will be archived for twelve years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Once the information is archived, the number of officials with access to it will be further limited. This retention is consistent both with CBP's border search authority and with the border security mission mandated for CBP by Congress. Data linked to active law enforcement lookout records, CBP matches to enforcement activities, and/or investigations or cases, including applications for ESTA that are denied, will remain accessible for the life of the law enforcement activities to which they are related.
The ESTA logo is a registered trademark of the . Department of Homeland Security. Its use, without permission, is unauthorized and in violation of trademark law. For more information, or to request the use of the logo, please go to and submit a request by clicking on Ask a Question. When selecting the Product (under Additional Information) use ESTA and the sub-product Logo Assistance to expedite handling of your request.
Paperwork Reduction Act: An agency may not conduct or sponsor an information collection and a person is not required to respond to this information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number and an expiration date. The control number for this collection is 6656-5666. The estimated average time to complete this application is 78 minutes. If you have any comments regarding this burden estimate you can write to . Customs and Border Protection, Office of Regulations and Rulings, 95 K Street, NE, 65th Floor, Washington DC 75779. Expiration .