ESTA: Huge changes with immediate effect
The US Government has made a significant change to their Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) which is applicable with immediate effect.
For travel to the USA, travellers need to apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours before departure. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding.
What has changed?
There are no more instant approvals for ESTA applications.
The ESTA approvals will now take three days to process (72 hours).
What does this mean for travellers to the USA who require ESTA authorization*?
They will no longer be able to get the ESTA application approved in real time.
They will be denied boarding if they do not have a previously approved ESTA authorisation.
What do you need to do?
For your forthcoming travel to the USA*, apply for ESTA as early as possible and no later than 72 hours before departure.
Useful links to get more information or to apply for ESTA
To apply for ESTA complete an online pre-registration form on Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) You can get more information about ESTA at U.S. Customs and Border Protection ESTA Frequently Asked Questions, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
*Check if you require an ESTA here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/