Did a quick business trip to the US pop up out of nowhere? Purchasing a last-minute plane ticket might seem a lot easier than obtaining a quick ESTA for entering the US.

In most cases, ESTA approval can be obtained within minutes. However, there is no guarantee. You could even have to wait for 48 hours. Is there a way to speed up the process? Keep reading, to get enlightened. 

Time Tracking for ESTA

The official ESTA website states that it takes 23 minutes to complete the form online, on average. 

The form processing or the ESTA approval time ranges from a few minutes up to 48 hours.

Urgent ESTA

The authorities at ESTA recommend that you apply at least 72 hours prior to your departure for the US. In some situations, however, you do not have so much time beforehand. In this case, you may select the “ESTA express” option at the time of payment. 

The ESTA express feature markedly reduces form processing time from 48 hours to one hour. Applying for an urgent ESTA may be particularly useful in the following cases:

  • You renewed your passport but did not apply for a new ESTA authorization with it
  • You have to visit the US in an emergency
  • You forgot to apply for ESTA 72 hours before your planned trip to the US

Filling Out the Form

The express ESTA form-filling procedure is similar to the standard ESTA form. Carefully fill in your personal information, passport information, and the rest of the details.

Form Filling Requirements

You will need the following during form filling:

  • A passport should remain valid for at least six months beyond your traveling dates.
  • An email address. You will receive all notifications regarding your ESTA status via email, including your approval and the all-important application number.
  • A credit or debit card for fee payment

Guidelines for Urgent ESTA Approval

While filling out the form, it is important to follow these guidelines, so that your application gets approved without any delays. 

Read all the questions on the form and answer carefully. Avoid typos. If there is a mismatch between your personal information and that mentioned on your passport, your ESTA status will appear as  “pending approval”.

Choose to pay with a credit card. It is faster. Verify your email address without wasting any time and note down your application number.

Checking ESTA Status

You will receive an email notification within 72 hours regarding your ESTA status. However, since you are short on time, you can personally check your status at the official ESTA website. 

Click on the tab “Check Existing Application”. After that click on “Check Individual Status.” Following this, you will be required to enter your application number, your date of birth, and your passport number.

You will receive one out of the following three responses:

Authorization approved- Your ESTA application is approved and you can travel to the US. However, the right to allow your entry into the country is reserved by a CBP officer at a port of entry. 

Travel not Authorized- Your ESTA application has been denied. However, you may still travel to the US after obtaining a visa.

Authorization Pending- Your application is being reviewed. In this case, keep checking your status frequently so that you find out as soon as the ESTA status gets updated.

Final Thoughts

The guidelines mentioned in this article are undoubtedly the quickest way to get an ESTA. If you require emergency ESTA approval, be sure to apply these tips. By doing so, you will be able to check one thing off your last-minute to-do list!