If you have already had the opportunity to benefit from an ESTA travel authorisation to visit the USA and you wish to learn how to renew this travel document to again visit this country then in this article you will find the answers to all the questions you may have on this subject. We do of course cover all the major points such as the renewal of an ESTA after its expiry date or even during its validity period when this is necessary and you will find practical explanations on how to proceed with this renewal.
When should the ESTA be renewed?
As we have just noted, the duration of validation of your ESTA authorisation is two years. Logically speaking, you do not need to renew your ESTA during this two year period as your authorisation remains valid for all visits during this period of less than 90 days. Once this period has expired, you will have to create a new application.
However, in certain cases, it will be necessary to complete a renewal of your ESTA before the end of its two year validity period. For example, if your passport number changes following a renewal or the loss of your previous electronic or biometric passport. In this case you will need to complete a new ESTA application. The same applies if your personal situation changes (marriage, divorce…) or you change your citizenship status or gender.
To summarise, we could say that if one of the questions of the last part of the application form gives place to a different answer than that originally entered on your first application then you should renew your ESTA authorisation before travelling to the United States.
What procedure should be followed for completing the renewal of your ESTA?
To renew an ESTA authorisation, you need to simply follow the same procedure completely. However, you do not need to use the same website as that for your initial application; you can find the application form questionnaire in several languages on our partner's website.
In the same way as with your initial procedure, you should respond carefully to all the questions and make your payment for the processing of your application including fees. You should of course take the time to carefully read through all the information you have entered to verify for mistakes before submitting your application.
You will then receive a response from the American immigration services by email within a maximum period of 72 hours.
Is an ESTA authorisation renewal payable?
You are undoubtedly wondering if you will need to pay the costs for your new ESTA application again if it simply expires or you just need to make some minor alterations in the information provided. This is unfortunately the case as the cost of an ESTA renewal is exactly the same as an initial application.
In fact, when you renew your application, the American authorities responsible for border controls need to examine it in the same way as the original by confirming the information it provides. Therefore the costs inherent in examining the application and providing a response need to be covered again too.
The only modification that does not require a complete ESTA renewal is related to a change of your email address which can be completed for free using your file reference number.
When is the best time to proceed with the renewal of an ESTA?
You may already know how to renew your ESTA authorisation. But you may also be wondering when is the best time to proceed with this renewal. We recommend that you do not wait until your ESTA has expired or to the last moment before your visit to complete the renewal of your travel authorisation.
In fact it is entirely possible to proceed with an ESTA renewal before the expiry of your previous authorisation. The new ESTA obtained will replace the original which will be cancelled. Of course, the validity period of your new ESTA will take effect upon its acceptation and not from the expiry date of the previous one. It is also not recommended that you apply for a renewal too early if you do not plan to travel in the near future. It is also possible to apply for a new ESTA well after the expiry date of the previous one.
But then when is the ideal time to renew an ESTA? As you already know, the processing time for your ESTA application is a maximum of 72 hours from the submission of your application form online. However, if your application is refused you may be able to reapply with a new ESTA application following a ten day pause after receiving your notification, or you may be eligible to apply for a visa. Therefore, and to be sure that your trip continues according to plan, it is best to renew your ESTA at least 15 days before your departure date.
Do you systematically obtain an ESTA when you apply to renew it?
Let us now pass on to another question that is asked by many visitors that wish to renew their ESTA and this relates to the probability of obtaining a positive response to your application. In fact, just because you obtained your ESTA with a previous or initial application this does not guarantee a favourable response to a later application. This renewal is actually an entirely new application and only the American authorities responsible for this system can decide whether or not to grant you the right to visit the USA.
However it should be noted that if nothing has changed in your situation since your previous application and the USA immigration laws have not changed then it is probable that you will again obtain the right to enter American territory with an ESTA.
The cases in which you risk obtaining a refusal relate to the non-respect of certain conditions implemented by this system such as a visit that is too long or an invalid reason for a visit. In these two particular cases you will still have the possibility of completing a visa application to visit the United States. But in other cases, such as litigation problems since your previous application, or health problems, or you have moved to another country that is not recognised by the American immigration authorities, or if you have been banished or expulsed from the United States during a previous visit then there is a strong probability that you will not be granted an ESTA or a visa.
It should however be remembered that, in the case to the contrary, an initial application that led to a refusal by the American authorities does not mean that you will obtain another refusal to this new application.
In which cases will you be required to apply for a visa instead of a renewal of your ESTA?
If you wish to renew your ESTA for a new visit to the United States you should first ensure that your situation and the reason for your visit comply with this programme’s conditions. In fact in certain cases it may be best to simply apply directly for an American visa instead of an ESTA travel authorisation.
Concerning your situation, it should be remembered that the ESTA is only for citizens of member countries of this programme. If you have moved to another country since your initial application that is not a signatory to this agreement then you cannot benefit from this system but you can apply for a traditional visa, with the exception of certain countries.
Concerning your visit, it should also be remembered that this period must not exceed 90 days if you wish to use your ESTA. A visit for longer than this will require you to apply for a specific visa.
Finally, if your visit to the USA is for another reason other than tourism or business, or you wish for example to stay longer than three months or for permanent residency, working or following studies then you cannot renew your ESTA to do so and must follow the standard application procedure for a visa.
If you are in one of the situations that we have stated above then don’t waste time by applying for an ESTA, go directly to the visa application website. It is important to remember here that the visa application procedure often takes far longer than for an ESTA as it requires certain documentary proof and may even require a visit to the consulate or Embassy.
Should you renew your ESTA on the same website you used for your initial application?
To conclude this article relating to a renewal of your ESTA authorisation let us look at another question that is frequently asked by visitors relating to the website you should use to complete this renewal. In fact, many people ask if it is necessary to use the same website they used for their original application.
In reality it does not matter as this renewal procedure is identical to that of an initial application. You are therefore free to choose the website that you wish to use. For this we recommend that you take into account the following points:
- The quality of accompaniment and the possible presence of a customer assistance service online to assist you with any queries.
- The fact that the application form is available in multiple languages.
- The rapidity of the transference and processing of your file to obtain an ESTA fast.
- The amount of fees payable.
- The possibility of obtaining a refund in the case whereby your ESTA application is refused.
The website that we have selected for you and that we recommend on our website reunites all these aspects and it therefore a judicious choice for renewing your online ESTA travel authorisation.