ESTA authorization was introduced by the U.S. government to strengthen U.S. homeland security while maintaining the benefits of the Visa Waiver Program. It is not an American visa, but an authorization to travel to the USA. Here we focus on its validity.


The ESTA travel authorization, issued by the American authorities, is valid for 2 years from the date of issue, or until the passport expires if this occurs before the end of the two-year validity period. By way of comparison, the future ETIAS in Europe can be used for 3 years.

Since the ESTA authorization is linked to the passport, any change to the passport invalidates the ESTA. It is not possible to update your passport, which means that you will have to apply online for a new passport or change your details. Since this is a new application, the validity period changes.

Note: only electronic or biometric passports are authorized.

No need to worry if an authorization expires during your trip to the United States. The authorization must be valid at the time of entry; its validity is irrelevant at the time of exit.

The U.S. government reserves the right to cancel an ESTA regardless of its remaining validity. This remains an exceptional measure. Such was the case, however, when new eligibility criteria were introduced for national security reasons (Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015). All ESTA authorizations issued to Iraqi, Syrian and Sudanese nationals (even in the case of dual nationality) and to anyone who has visited Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan or Somalia since March 01, 2011 have been revoked.

The official validity period is two years, but this does not entitle the traveler to stay in the U.S. for 24 consecutive months. As stipulated by the Visa Waiver Program, only short stays of up to 90 days in the United States are authorized by ESTA, whether for transit, tourism or business travel. On the other hand, the number of trips is unlimited during the two-year validity period, as long as they are not too close together and give the impression that you are living in the United States.

The ESTA is mandatory for short-term travel and transit, but does not guarantee entry to the USA. This decision is made by the immigration officer at the port of entry. The latter may ask for additional documents, such as an exit ticket.

We recommend that you apply for ESTA authorization at least 72 hours before departure, in case the authorities need to examine your application.


Once you have completed the ESTA application form on the government website or on this private website, you will be given an identification number and a reply.

If your ESTA application is approved, the ESTA expiration date, and therefore its validity period, will appear on the screen.

If your authorization has been accepted in the past and you can’t remember the expiry date, you can check the status of your authorization. To do this, enter your personal space for an application made on this site, or go to the official site and enter your passport number, date of birth and identification number (application number) under the “check ESTA status” tab.

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

Note that the same procedure applies if your authorization is pending. We’ll get back to you within 72 hours.

If you are refused authorization, you can reapply if the refusal is due to an error in the form to be completed, or apply for a visa at the American embassy. Don’t try to enter the USA without authorization or a visa – you won’t be able to board.