How much does the ESTA application cost?

How much does the ESTA application cost?

Are you planning your trip to the United States? Don’t forget to include the price of ESTA in your total budget! Indeed, in the same way as the other residence permits (visa and green card), the ESTA authorization is chargeable. However, we will see that obtaining this travel document remains much more economical than for the American visa.

The price of an ESTA application

Formerly free, the ESTA authorization is now paying. ESTA fees are divided into two parts:

  • $4 processing fee;
  • $10 authorization fee. This means that this amount is only due if your authorization request is validated. If the latter is refused, the American authorities will reimburse you for these costs.

Note that these rates are applicable if you make your request via the official US government website. When you order an ESTA on a private site, the amount requested may be slightly higher, for the individual assistance provided.

On the other hand, the price of an ESTA travel authorization remains fixed, regardless of the nationality of the traveler. The priority is that foreign nationals applying for ESTA must be citizens of one of the 38 member countries of the Visa Waiver Program (Visa Waiver Program). Of course, French nationals are eligible for this residence permit.

The cost of an ESTA renewal

If you obtained your temporary residence permit more than two years ago or if your passport is no longer valid, your ESTA will no longer be usable. The validity of the ESTA depends on the validity of the passport. If you want to travel to the United States of America again, you must renew your ESTA. This new request will require the same procedure as during your first online request. As a result, the cost of your new ESTA will remain unchanged.

If the expiry date of the passport is approaching, consider anticipating your new passport application. Indeed, the latter will be essential to carry out your new procedure.

Cost of a bulk ESTA request

If you are traveling as a couple, with family or friends, you have the option of making a group request. You will still need to complete the ESTA form for each traveler. There is therefore no group rate for ESTA, all ESTA fees mentioned above will apply individually. On the other hand, it is possible for you to pay in one go, with the same payment card.

How to pay the fees related to the ESTA application?

Payment for an ESTA authorization is done online. To do this, you simply need to bring a debit or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover), then fill in your bank details.

The cost of an ESTA: more economical than a USA visa

The electronic authorization to travel to the USA has a much lower cost compared to the American visa. Indeed, for example, the request for a tourist visa to travel to the United States requires paying a total sum of 160 US dollars. Also, with the ESTA application, there is no need to visit the US Embassy or Consulate General. This trip can incur transportation costs, especially if you live in a rural area.

Before ordering your ESTA and paying the resulting fees, make sure you meet all of the VWP’s eligibility requirements, to avoid being charged processing fees if your application is refused. As a reminder, the ESTA only applies within the framework of a stay in the USA of a maximum of 90 days. In addition, it must imperatively be a tourist trip, a business trip or a transit trip. If you want to study in the USA, do an internship or work, your ESTA application will be refused and you will have paid the fees unnecessarily. Finally, keep in mind that the ESTA is only valid for entries on American soil by air or sea.

What happens after the ESTA payment?

When you have finished filling out the online form and you have made the payment, your ESTA file is communicated directly to the American authorities. It will then be reviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection computer systems. Very often, the ESTA authorization request is approved within minutes of sending, but the waiting time can extend to several hours. Whatever happens, you will be fixed on the final status of your ESTA file 72 hours at the latest after sending your request.

If your ESTA admission is validated by the customs services, you can then go to American territory simply with a valid passport. Indeed, the electronic authorization is computer-linked to the biometric passport or electronic passport, so there is no need to print your travel document in the USA.

The ESTA USA authorizes nationals to go to the United States for two years, from the moment each stay does not exceed 90 consecutive days.

In the event that your ESTA application is rejected, you will still be charged the processing fees and you will have to apply for a visa with the consular services of the US Embassy .