How long does an ESTA last?
An ESTA is normally valid for two years. Within this period of validity, the United States of America may be visited an unlimited number of times. Each visit may last up to 90 days. However, there are a number of exceptions. On this page you can read in what cases the validity of an ESTA will expire within two years of being granted, or within 90 days of arriving in the USA.
The total validity period of two years
The maximum period of validity of the ESTA is two years. This validity period begins immediately after an application has been approved. So not on the expected date of arrival in the USA, which is listed on the ESTA form. There are two possible reasons why it can be necessary to apply for a new ESTA before the two-year validity period is over:
- You are travelling with a new or different passport than the one with which you applied for the ESTA.
- A change in your personal situation makes it so the filled in details in the application form are no longer current
The validity of the ESTA will expire if you travel with a different passport
An ESTA is inextricably linked digitally to the passport with which the application was made. If you wish to travel using a different passport than the one with which the application was made, a new ESTA application must be submitted. This applies to the following situations:
- You have started using a new passport (e.g. because the old one has expired)
- You have two nationalities and intend to travel using the passport of the other nationality
- You have a second passport (with the same nationality) and intend to travel using this other passport
Other changes that could cause an ESTA to expire within two years
The ESTA application form asks for your contact information, travel details, personal data and background information. Naturally, some things may change between the time of approval and the time of travel to the USA. This may be even more the case if the same ESTA is used for a second or third trip.
If the answer to one or more safety questions in the application form is no longer correct, for example because of a holiday in Iran, the validity of the ESTA will immediately expire. However, if only the date of travel, destination or place of stay in the United States has changed, it is usually not necessary to submit a new application. If some of the details you have entered on the application form are no longer correct, use the button below to check whether it is necessary to apply for a new ESTA:Is the ESTA from my previous trip still valid?
The validity period of 90 days per visit
During the two years that the ESTA is valid, you may travel to the United States of America as often as you like. Each visit may last up to 90 days. This does not mean that you have to be back in the UK within 90 days, but you must have left the United States again within those 90 days. Also note the additional conditions below.
Visit to Canada, Mexico or Caribbean islands
Are you travelling from the United States of America to Canada, Mexico or a Caribbean island? If so, your stay in these countries will count towards the 90-day validity period of the ESTA. For example, if you travel from the UK to the USA, stay there for 40 days, then go to Mexico for 30 days and return to the USA, your second stay in the USA may not exceed 20 days (90-40-30=20). If you have British nationality, you do not need a visa to travel to a Caribbean island.
Leaving the USA briefly to extend the term
You should not leave America and return shortly afterwards for the sole purpose of extending the 90-day period to 180 days. However, there are no specific rules regarding the time that must elapse between two visits to the USA. When you enter the United States, an employee of US Customs & Border Protection will make an assessment. If it is suspected that you have left the USA prematurely with the sole purpose of circumventing the maximum 90-day period of validity, you may not be admitted. Do you wish to stay in the United States for more than 90 consecutive days? Apply for a visa instead of an ESTA.
Extending the validity of an ESTA
Have you come to the conclusion that your ESTA is no longer valid (long enough) for your next trip to the USA? Then you need to apply for a new one. It is not possible to extend an already granted ESTA. Do you want to stay in the USA for longer than 90 days? Then you do not need an ESTA but a visa.