It’s essential to know how ESTA validity works, to avoid ending up with an expired document when crossing the U.S. border. But first, what is ESTA? This is simply a travel authorization allowing any eligible national to travel to the United States without having to obtain a conventional visa. In this article, we’ll go back over the definition of this document, which is unlike any other, as well as the specifics of its validity.


As with any official document, ESTA validity depends on a number of criteria, and more specifically on the holder. Only citizens of countries participating in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) can apply for ESTA authorization. If the individual in question changes nationality, the ESTA validity will automatically expire. And for good reason: any authorization to travel to the USA is linked to the holder’s biometric passport: any change to the passport, such as surname, first name, nationality or passport number, means that the ESTA must be renewed as soon as possible.

The U.S. government takes tourism and immigration very seriously. In order to benefit from ESTA validity, all individuals must meet the following criteria:

It is important to note that the travel authorization does not constitute authorization to enter the United States. Regardless of the validity of your ESTA, only the customs officers who carry out the security checks when you get off the plane have the authority to grant or refuse you access to American soil.


If all conditions are met, the ESTA validity period is set at two years by the US government. During this period, travelers can make several trips, as long as a period of 90 days is respected between each stay and during their stay on site. The growing popularity of this procedure is largely attributed to the ESTA duration, so much so that several countries are considering the creation of a similar system. During these two years, travelers are free to undertake a variety of activities.

For tourism :

  1. take part in cultural activities (festivals, theater, camping, etc.);
  2. engage in unpaid volunteer activities;
  3. Travel freely throughout the U.S. (visit New York, discover the national parks, etc.);
  4. visiting friends and family;
  5. etc.

For business :

  1. participate in meetings ;
  2. taking part in negotiations and signing contracts ;
  3. register for and attend professional conferences;
  4. attend unpaid training sessions;
  5. etc.

Travel advice: U.S. authorities recommend that you request your travel authorization online at least 72 hours before your departure date. ESTA USA validity begins on the day it is issued and continues until its expiry date (two years), or until the passport is modified. Read our article on when to renew your ESTA. to find out all you need to know about renewing your travel authorization.