Are you planning a family vacation to the US? You’ve packed your bags, and have your ESTAs ready, but hold your horses, what about your children?

Do you need an ESTA for your child too? If so, what’s the process? Nothing too complicated, you hope. The following question pops up. Can children fly with ESTA? This article has got you covered!

Read on to find out how your child can obtain ESTA authorization and the legal requirements for the process. 

Prerequisites of an ESTA Form in the Case of Children

You might think that your child is a minor and can travel with your authorization. However, that’s not the case.

Every child, irrespective of age, needs individual ESTA authorization. 

The following prerequisites should be met when making an ESTA application for children::

  • The planned visit must be of 90 days or less.
  • Your child must be a citizen of one of the VWP countries.
  • The purpose of the visit, for children, must be solely for touring.

Note that if a child wishes to study in the US they have to obtain a specific visa for that purpose. ESTA authorization will not cover a visit of this nature. 

Required Documents

Your child must possess an un-expired personal electronic passport. Once approved, ESTA is electronically linked to a passport. Therefore, the child must have his/her own passport for ESTA linkage.

It is important to note that Kindereisepass is not eligible for ESTA unless issued before October 26, 2006.

At the Time of Travel

You will be needing the child’s personal airline or ship ticket. In the case of infants, their names should be mentioned in full on your ticket. 

Additionally, you will be needing certified copies of birth certificates. If you are a single parent traveling with your child, you must possess custody orders, a power of attorney from all other legal guardians, and copies of identification.

To be on the safe side of things, the best approach is to carry a declaration of consent form as well.

ESTA Application for Children

If your child is a minor, the online application form can be filled out by you, your spouse, or any other legal guardian on the child’s behalf. 

For a family ESTA application, select the ESTA group application form. When filling out the form on your child’s behalf, mention your contact details. You will then be required to answer a series of questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.

Check the third-party box in the form and mention your relationship with the child.

Payment of Application Fee

You can pay on behalf of your child via a credit or debit card. The fee of ESTA for a child is the same as that of an adult, irrespective of the age of your child.

Form Processing Time

This, too, is the same as for adults. You will be contacted via email within 72 hours of form submission


  • How much is a child’s ESTA?

A child’s ESTA will cost you the same amount as an adult’s. The US government does not offer any discounts on group applications. With effect from May 2022, one ESTA application will cost you $21.

  • Who can travel on an ESTA?

To be eligible for travel on an ESTA, you must have citizenship in one of the Visa Waiver Program countries. Furthermore, the travel period must be 90 days at maximum; and the visit must be for travel, business, or transit purposes only. 

  • Who cannot use an ESTA?

You cannot use ESTA if you have visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen after March 1, 2011. Additionally, you cannot use an ESTA if you have dual nationality with Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria. 

  • Do kids need an ESTA visa?

Yes, all kids irrespective of their age require an ESTA visa provided that they have citizenship in one of the VWP countries. Furthermore, children must possess their own unexpired passport to be eligible for ESTA application.

  • Do children need an ESTA to enter the US?

Yes, children need an ESTA to enter the US. Even if your child is an infant, you must still obtain an ESTA for him/her otherwise the child will not be allowed to enter the US.

Final Thoughts

The ESTA group application makes traveling to the US as a family easier. The best part is you receive your authorization together too. 

The guidelines above will come in handy, the next time you plan to travel with your children. Have the prerequisites ready, and your child will be ESTA authorized in a snap!