Whether you need to complete a new ESTA application as your first authorisation has expired or you wish to simply modify certain personal information after the completion of your application form, it can sometimes become necessary to update your ESTA authorisation information. Here we will explain in detail how to proceed with this and update your authorisation rapidly, in either of these cases.
In which cases is it possible to update your ESTA?
Once you have completed your ESTA application and obtained a positive response, you may use this travel authorisation to visit the United States numerous times during the two year validity period following its issue. But of course, to use this authorisation without having to repeat the application procedure online it is imperative that the information given when you completed your first application is still correct and does not contain any mistakes.
Luckily, in certain particular cases, you have the possibility of modifying certain information on your ESTA by proceeding with a simple update. This is the case with the following information:
The loss or change of your email address: If the email address that you used for your initial ESTA application has changed then you have the possibility of updating it on your ESTA free of charge. This will enable you to confirm the validity of your authorisation when you wish.
Your destination has changed: If you are planning a new visit to the United States and envisage staying at a different address than that of your previous visit then it is also recommended that you update your ESTA to state this new address.
Your postal address: It is also possible to change your postal address if you have moved since filing your original application as long as you are still a resident of the same country.
Updating your ESTA document to correct mistakes:
If you are worried about making mistakes during the completion of your ESTA application form when applying for travel authorisation to the United States, it is important that you are aware that firstly, the form is highly intuitive. This means that it can automatically recognise certain mistakes such as forgetting a field that needs to be completed, a strange date of birth, or a response whereby the characters entered do not match those expected. These mistakes are highlighted for you to correct before the submission of your application form.
On the other hand, if you submitted your ESTA application before realising that you made one or several mistakes, you should know that you can modify this information anytime. Access your online form and you can correct the mistakes you made as often as is necessary.
Updating your ESTA document following a change in your situation:
As you undoubtedly know, an ESTA authorisation, once obtained, is valid for a two year period. This means that you can certainly use an ESTA authorisation for several separate visits to the United States. However, you should ensure that all the information you entered on your application form is still valid. This is particularly the case for your personal information such as your address, your passport number or your general civil status, but also a different itinerary or changes in your health.
You may also have changed your situation since your initial application submission and the departure date for your visit to the USA.
You should therefore proceed with the modifications to your ESTA document via the same website where you completed your initial application. Your application will then again be examined by the American authorities who will decide whether to grant you this new authorisation, or not.
How to easily modify your ESTA document details:
To be able to complete modifications on your ESTA document, for one of the reasons cited above, you should have your reference number. This is the reason why it is strongly recommended to note and keep safely the confirmation of your first authorisation.
Using this number, on the website where you initially submitted your application, you can access the information you entered and modify the parts that have changed or where you made mistakes.
The American administration officers will take into account the modifications made and reply within the same 72 hour period as with your initial application.
In which cases is it not possible to modify your ESTA?
As we explained above, it is possible to modify certain information on your ESTA through a simple free update. However this is only for certain information and there is a lot of information that cannot be changed once your application has been submitted to the American authorities. The following information cannot be changed:
Your passport number or its period of validity: If you made a mistake when entering your passport number, its issue date or validity date or if you now hold a different passport to the one you used when originally applying for your ESTA then it will not be possible to modify this information with a simple update. Your ESTA is actually linked to this particular passport number.
Your first name, last name or date of birth: In the same way, if you made a mistake regarding your name or date of birth when completing your application or you have changed your name recently then you cannot modify this information on your ESTA. Remember that it is imperative that the information on your ESTA, including that concerning your identity, is exactly the same as that on your passport.
A response to other questions on the application form: Of course, if one of your answers to the questions relating to the reasons for your visit, your state of health or any legal issues has changed then you will also not be able to simply update your ESTA.
In all the cases detailed above, you will need to complete a new ESTA application through the same procedure as before by completing the application form again, even if your current ESTA is still valid. Of course this also means you will have to pay the transfer and processing fees again.
Does the modification of an ESTA require a new payment of the processing costs?
As we have already explained, if you wish to travel again to the United States with your ESTA but need to modify certain information that has changed, you have the possibility to regain access to your document to update the information. However these modifications automatically incur a new examination of your document by the American authorities responsible for immigration. The latter will need to again verify and examine all your responses to confirm they are in accordance with the current law and regulations of the USA.
Due to this fact, the work inherent in transferring and processing your application will need to be completed again in its entirety which generates certain costs and fees. This is why you will again be required to cover those fees and costs paid during your initial application. It is therefore not possible to modify your ESTA document free of charge. The only case whereby a update to your file does not require another payment is if you simply need to change the email address associated with your authorisation.
The only advantage to being able to access your ESTA file to carry out modifications is that you will not need to complete all the questions and requests for information, just those that need changing. In this way you can save time precious to the successful organisation of your visit. The cost however remains the same as that of your initial application.
If you no longer possess the reference number of your document you can, for the same price, create a new application by completing the same application procedure again, even if your ESTA authorisation is still valid. This new authorisation will thereby replace the precedent.
Updating an ESTA authorisation after the validity period has expired:
If your last ESTA authorisation is over two years old and you wish to visit the United States again, or if your civil status or passport number has changed, then you will need to submit a new application through the same procedure as before. Basically, it is not possible to simply update your authorisation.
For this, it is pointless to visit the website you used for your initial application. You can find the application form in several languages on our partner's website. In the same way as with your initial document you should ensure you have your biometric or electronic passport with you and ensure it is valid for your entire trip.
It is important to know that even if you obtained your first authorisation easily the first time it may be possible that a later application is refused. You should therefore take great care in completing your online application form and ensure you answer all questions as truthfully and completely as possible.
Your ESTA document will be advised by email within a maximum period of 72 hours after your application submission although a response from the American authorities is generally faster. In case of a refusal, you can create a new application 10 days after this initial refusal notification.