It is essential to know how ESTA validity works in order to avoid ending up with an expired document when crossing the American border. But first of all, what is ESTA ? It is simply a travel authorization allowing any eligible national to go to the United States without having to obtain a conventional visa. In this article, we will come back to the definition of this document like no other and the specifics on its validity.


Like any official document, ESTA validity depends on a large number of criteria, more precisely on its holder. In fact, only citizens of one of the 38 countries participating in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) can apply for an ESTA authorization . If the individual changes nationality, this will cause the ESTA validity to expire automatically. And for good reason, any authorization to travel to the USA is linked to the biometric passport of its holder: any change on it such as names, first names, nationality, or even passport number means that you will need to renew the ESTA as quickly as possible.

The US government takes tourism and immigration very seriously. To be able to enjoy ESTA validity, each individual must respect the following criteria:

It is important to note that the travel authorization does not constitute an authorization to enter the United States. Whatever the validity of your ESTA, only the customs officers carrying out the security checks when getting off the plane have the competent authority to accept or refuse you access to American soil.


If all the conditions are met, the ESTA validity period is then set at two years by the United States government. During this period, travelers can make several trips from the moment that a period of 90 days is respected between each stay and during the stay on site. The growing popularity of this process is largely attributed to the ESTA duration, so much so that several countries are considering creating a similar system. During these two years, travelers can freely undertake various activities.

For the tourism :

  1. participate in cultural activities (festival, theater, camping, etc.);
  2. engage in unpaid volunteer activities;
  3. move freely throughout the United States (visit New York, discover national parks , etc.);
  4. visit friends or family;
  5. etc.

For business:

  1. participate in meetings;
  2. take part in negotiations and signature of contracts;
  3. register and attend professional conferences;
  4. attend unpaid training sessions;
  5. etc.

Travel advice: American authorities recommend that you apply for your travel authorization online at least 72 hours before your departure date . ESTA USA validity will begin on the day of issue and will continue until its expiration (two years) or as soon as a change occurs in the passport. Go to our article when should you renew your ESTA? to find out everything about renewing your travel authorization.