How Long Can You Travel On An ESTA?

Do you happen to be traveling to the US? If you do, you should know that if you are a citizen from one of 39 countries that are eligible to apply to ESTA (Electronic System for Traveling Authorisation) you can do so, which will grant you a stay in the US without the need to apply for a Visa. We will talk about ESTA in more detail in this article, with the focus on how long you can be traveling on an ESTA.

What Exactly is ESTA? 

ESTA was invented to grant the ability to travel to the United States. The process itself is a lot easier than those pesky Visa applications, as it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to be completed. Also, unlike with Visas, authorizations are granted pretty much instantly with a 99% approval rate. So if you’re planning to travel to the US next year, maybe on a fun road trip, then read this first!

The conditions of gaining ESTA are very simple: the reasons for travel must be related to business, tourism, transit, and medical purposes, and that the traveler can’t stay in the United States any longer than 90 days.

It should be mentioned that even if you are sure that travel will be authorized for you, it’s still recommended to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before your planned travel date. 

Duration of ESTA Approval

If you have gained your ESTA approval, you should know that it is granted for a period of two years. It can last less only in case of passport expiry if that happens before two years have passed.

To clear one thing up, even though ESTA approval itself lasts 2 years, you can’t stay in the United States for that long. It can only be used for up to 90 days, although it is up to you how and when you will use them. There is only one more thing regarding the stay, and that is that once you have exceeded your 90 days travel period, and then have returned to your home country, you’ll probably need to wait for about twelve months before gaining another ESTA approval. 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) haven’t yet strictly set the requirements for the amount of time that needs to pass before you can travel to the United States again, but 12 months are a safe bet that you’ll be granted an ESTA.

Alternatively, you can always apply for the Visa if you plan to visit the United States again within these 12 months after your previous 90 days stay. There are more details regarding traveling on ESTA as well as the application process once your ESTA approval has expired, with covering just about all of them.

Remember that the research on these topics is the key to everything going according to plan during your travel to the United States. It should also be mentioned that, if the border patrol suspects that you are exploiting these possibilities to try and live in the United States – you will not be admitted. On the other hand, of course, if you do have justified and provable reasons for returning that quickly, like for instance business reasons, you don’t need to worry about this.

We hope that now, after reading this article, the details regarding the duration of traveling on an ESTA are made a lot clearer to you. Now that you know everything you need, enjoy your travel!