ESTA was established by the United States government to strengthen the internal security of the United States while maintaining the benefits of the Visa Waiver Program. It is not an American visa, but a travel authorization to the USA. We focus here on its period of validity.


The ESTA travel authorization, issued by the American authorities, has a validity period of 2 years from the date of issue, or until the expiration of the passport if this occurs before the end of the two years. of validity. For comparison, the future ETIAS in Europe can be used for 3 years.

Since the ESTA authorization is linked to the passport, any modification of the latter will invalidate the ESTA USA. An update is not possible, which implies making a new online request in the event of a new passport or modification of its data. Since this is a new request, the period of validity changes.

Note: only the electronic passport or the biometric passport is authorized.

No need to worry if an authorization expires while traveling in the United States. The authorization must be valid at the time of entry, its validity is not relevant at the time of exit.

The United States government reserves the right to cancel an ESTA regardless of the remaining validity period. This remains an exceptional measure. However, this was the case when new eligibility criteria were put in place for reasons of national security (Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015). Were then revoked, all ESTA permits issued to Iraqi, Syrian and Sudanese nationals (even in the case of dual nationality) and to all persons who have visited Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia since March 01, 2011.

The official period of validity is two years, but this does not give the right to the traveler to stay 24 consecutive months on the American territory. As provided by the Visa Waiver Program, only short stays in the United States (90 days maximum) are authorized by ESTA, whether transits, tourist stays or business travel. However, the number of trips is unlimited during the two years of validity, provided that they are not too close in time and give the impression that you live in the United States.

ESTA is compulsory for short trips and transits, but does not guarantee entry to American soil. This decision rests with the immigration officer present at the port of entry. The latter may request the presentation of additional documents such as the exit ticket.

It is recommended to request ESTA at least 72 hours before departure in case the authorities need to study your request (authorization pending).


Once the authorization request has been completed using the ESTA form available on the government website or on this private website, you will be given an identification number and a response.

If your ESTA request is approved, the ESTA expiration date, and therefore its period of validity, appears on the screen.

If your authorization has been accepted in the past and you no longer remember the expiration date, it is possible to check the status of your authorization. To do this, enter your personal space, for a request made on this site, or go to the official site and enter your passport number, date of birth and identification number (request number) under the tab. “Check ESTA status”.

If you no longer have the application number, enter your passport number, date of birth, last name, first name and your country of nationality.

Note that this is the same process if your authorization is pending. You will receive an answer within 72 hours.

In case of authorization refused , you can make a new request, if the refusal is due to an error in the form to fill out, or apply for a visa at the American Embassy. Do not try to go to the USA without authorization or visa, you will not be able to embark.