If you are planning a trip to the US and will be using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), don’t wait until the last minute.
CBP has advised that real-time approvals will no longer be available for ESTA due to changes in application processing. International travelers who are using ESTA are instructed to apply for travel to the US a minimum of 72 hours before departure. According to a recent press release, those who apply on their day of departure may not be approved in time, and will be denied permission to board their flight.
ESTA assists in determining eligibility to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of participating countries to come to the US without a visa for a stay of 90 days or less (if all requirements are met). The system was implemented to enhance security of the Visa Waiver Program as part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.
To apply for ESTA now, visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta.
If you have any questions about ESTA or the Visa Waiver Program, contact Serotte Reich via our website or call (716) 854-7525.