Fill out the ESTA form
Completing the ESTA form on the Internet is a fairly long process. This process includes ten successive screens to be completed and validated. We have summarized and illustrated these steps in detail in the following article.
The steps to complete the ESTA form are as follows:
Go to the official website
The form is only available on the Internet.
You must connect with a computer equipped with an Internet connection and then go to the official website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ of the US Department of Homeland Security.
The site is available in 24 languages. All European languages are available. These 24 languages cover the 39 member countries of the Visa Waiver Program, including Polish for Poland, the last country to join in November 2019.
To change the language of the site, just click at the top right of the screen on the flag of the current language of the site. The whole site as well as all the support pages are perfectly translated into the 24 languages.
Validate access to the form
By connecting to the ESTA form site, you access the ESTA application process online. The site has a lot of information, including extensive online help to help you complete the form.
From the home page of the site, you have several options:
- Access a new form for an individual request;
- Access a new form for a group request;
- Take over an already existing request, whether individual or for a group.
Accept waivers and general conditions
To be able to start filling out the questionnaire, you must first read and accept two successive screens of online declarations.
On each of the pages showing these prior commitments from the applicant, you must check “Yes, I have read and understood the information and I accept the conditions” in order to finally access the form.
- The first screen informs you of some VWP rules you should be aware of, such as the inability to search for a job or become a permanent resident once you are admitted to enter the United States with an ESTA. You must click to confirm your acceptance of these stated terms;
- A second screen presents the main general conditions of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. This law governs the operation of the ESTA form.
Fill in the applicant’s data
The first part of the form to be completed concerns the applicant’s personal civil status information.
This information is essential because it allows the identity of the applicant.
It is necessary to inform:
- Last name and first name ;
- Date and place of birth ;
- Passport number and validity dates;
- Information on the applicant’s citizenship and nationality.
In some countries, it is possible to upload the passport to guarantee the information to be entered.
Check your e-mail
In order to validate the first screen of the form concerning the applicant’s personal information, you must enter a valid e-mail address and then re-enter it a second time.
Once the screen has been validated, the requester must go to the e-mail address provided to check their e-mails. An automatic e-mail containing a 4-digit code is sent to the applicant immediately after having validated his e-mail address. This 4-digit code is valid for 25 minutes and must be entered on the screen in order to proceed to the second step of the form
This process allows the ESTA form validation services to ensure that the traveler’s email address is correct and that they can subsequently receive emails to follow up and confirm their request.
Complete the personal identity information
This second part of filling out the form requires filling in a second set of personal information about the applicant.
This information concerns:
- Pseudonym and other passports;
- Mailing address and telephone numbers;
- Information concerning the presence on social networks;
- Identity information of the applicant’s parents.
All of this information is mandatory, even information concerning the presence on social networks.
Enter travel information
This 3rd major content section of the form concerns travel information.
The services of the American administration which manages the borders want to know the name and the coordinates of your emergency contact on American soil during your stay.
Respond to eligibility questions
The last part of the ESTA form concerns questions to which the applicant must answer YES or NO.
Review the content of the entered form
You will then come to the page “Submission of the request” which offers you to check all your information . Far from being incidental, this step is fundamental: if an error is found after the validation of the form, it will be necessary to make a new request and to pay a second time the regulatory costs.
When everything seems right, just click on “Submit a request”, pay a processing fee on the next page and it’s over! Once the authorization is granted, the trip can begin!