Do I need an ESTA for New York?

Do I need an ESTA for New York

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) is an online application form that you will need to complete for your New York trip. ESTA is part of the enhanced security requirements in the USA. Anybody travelling to the US, under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), needs an ESTA. The VWP allows most Australian Citizens with a valid electronic passport to visit the US, for up to 90 days, without a visa. Even though you don’t need a visa for New York, you are required to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), at least 3 days BEFORE you travel to New York. It’s advisable to do it even further in advance.


How do I apply for an ESTA?

It’s easy to apply for an ESTA online. It costs $21, which can be paid by credit card or PayPal. Usually, you’ll receive approval to travel within a day, but it can also take a bit longer. Make sure other members of your group also apply for an ESTA. Even babies travelling, without a plane ticket, need their own ESTA.

ESTA application process

During the application, you will receive an email confirming your email address with a code. If you have any issues while applying, you can contact ESTA directly via the phone number found at the bottom of their page.

Once you’re done you will be sent a confirmation of your application. You will receive an email once your status changes or you can go to ‘Check ESTA Status’ on the website and log in to see the status of your application. I advise that you apply within plenty of time to avoid any delays. “Authorisation Approved” means the ESTA was approved and you are good to travel. “Travel Not Authorised” means that you must contact your embassy or consulate and “Authorisation Pending” means you need to check the status again, later.

You should be aware that there are companies who are willing to fill out the application for you, who will charge a lot more. Please know that you are then paying for unnecessary service. Everybody can apply for ESTA themselves.

Eric’s Tip: “It’s possible to apply for an ESTA for multiple people, in a group application. In my experience, however, there are often more complications that come up with these applications. I recommend making all applications separately. It will take a little more time but will ensure that the application goes through without frustration.”

What do I need to apply for an ESTA?

When you are requesting an ESTA, you will need:

  • A credit card or PayPal account to pay $21 for your ESTA application
  • A passport
  • A photo of your passport that you will need to upload

How long is an ESTA valid for?

The ESTA is valid for 2 years from the application and you can retrieve it on the site if you return to the US, within this time. You don’t need to re-enter the information, except if your passport has changed. Then you need to reapply and pay the fee again.

Mobile Passport Control app

Once your ESTA has been approved, you can download the Mobile Passport Control app, and fill in the details. With the MPC, you can stand in a different queue at US Customs, which generally shortens the waiting time and allows you to get through customs faster.

How long do I need to have left on my passport?

Do you have an Australian passport and are you travelling with an ESTA? To enter the United States, your passport must be valid up to and including the day that you are due to leave the country again. To avoid problems in unexpected situations, like a missed or cancelled flight or sickness, it is more advisable to travel with a passport that has a longer validity period. Also, every traveller, including children and babies must have their own passport. (This information was last updated on October 12, 2023).

Do I need a visa to go to New York?

With a valid ESTA, most Australian citizens can visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa. Read more about applying for an ESTA here.

Do I need an ESTA for New York?

Everyone traveling to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) needs an ESTA.

How much is an ESTA for New York?

Applying for an ESTA via the official website costs $21.

How far in advance should I get an ESTA?

You should apply for an ESTA at least 3 days before traveling, but it’s advisable to do it even further in advance.

How do I apply for an ESTA for New York?

It’s easy to apply for an ESTA online. Read my advice here.

Do I need to fill in any more forms?

You don’t need to fill in any extra forms if you have an ESTA, however, if you have a visa you do.

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