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How long does an esta last?

When planning a visit to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), understanding the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and its duration is crucial. In this article, we’ll explore the intricacies of how long an ESTA lasts, factors influencing its validity, and important considerations for international travelers.

Important info about ESTA validation time:

  1. Initial Authorization Period: An ESTA is typically granted for an initial period of two years from the date of approval. During this timeframe, travelers can make multiple trips to the U.S., as long as each visit adheres to the 90-day limit.
  2. 90-Day Limit per Visit: While the initial ESTA approval is valid for two years, each individual visit to the U.S. must not exceed 90 days. Overstaying the allowed period can lead to serious consequences, affecting future travel plans and eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program.
  3. Linked to Passport Validity: The validity of an ESTA is closely tied to the expiration date of the traveler’s passport. If the passport expires before the two-year ESTA period, the authorization also becomes invalid. Renewing or updating your passport requires a subsequent ESTA application.
  4. ESTA Renewal Process: Renewing an ESTA is necessary when the initial two-year period expires or when there are changes in passport details, citizenship, name, or gender. The renewal process involves submitting a new application through the official ESTA website.
  5. Checking ESTA Status: Regularly monitoring the status of your ESTA is essential, especially before planning a trip to the U.S. The official ESTA website provides a user-friendly tool for checking the validity of your authorization, ensuring it is still active and suitable for your upcoming travel.
  6. Emergency ESTA Applications: In cases where travelers need to make an unplanned visit to the U.S. and do not have an existing valid ESTA, an emergency application can be submitted. However, it is advisable to apply as early as possible to secure timely approval before the intended departure date.


    Understanding the duration of an ESTA is pivotal for international travelers to the United States. By being aware of the initial two-year approval period, adhering to the 90-day limit per visit, and staying vigilant about passport validity, travelers can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience when utilizing the Visa Waiver Program. Regularly checking and renewing your ESTA, if needed, will contribute to a seamless travel process, allowing you to enjoy your time in the U.S. within the established guidelines.