Updating an ESTA Visa Waiver Travel Authorization

Published on: Aug 10, 2015, Last Edited: Mar 11, 2020 | Tags: Mistake on ESTA, Updating an ESTA

Introduction

Updating an ESTA ensures CBP is made aware of changes to your travel plans or other travel related information. Not updating or checking your ESTA application before your departure may result in problems at the U.S. border or before your departure to the U.S. The status of the required payment for your application will determine what information can be updated on your ESTA.

Updating an ESTA Visa Waiver Travel Authorization
Updating an ESTA Visa Waiver Travel Authorization

What you can update on your ESTA before submitting payment

Prior to submitting an electronic travel authorization application with the required payment, you can update all application data fields with the exception of the passport number and passport issuing country. You will be able to view and confirm the passport number and passport issuing country, yet will be unable to edit these fields. If you have made a mistake on your passport number or passport issuing country, you will need to submit a new ESTA application with the corrected information. When submitting the new ESTA application, you may be prompted to confirm you wish to overwrite your previous application which you will need to confirm.

What you can update on your ESTA after submitting payment

An ESTA application is usually processed instantly after the payment processed and the application will be classified under one of three status’, these are ‘Authorization Approved’, ‘Travel Not Authorized’ or ‘Pending’.

Applications that are either ‘Authorization Approved’ or ‘Pending’ – the only fields that can be edited for pending or approved applications are the applicant’s contact email address and the applicant’s address while in the U.S.

Applications that are ‘Travel Not Authorized’ - you will not be able to make any changes to the application. You will need to either submit a new application with the corrected fields, or, if you made a mistake on the eligibility questions two through nine, you can contact the ESTA team to make change and fix a mistake on your ESTA application.

Frequently asked questions when updating an ESTA

I've received a new passport since I got my ESTA, what should I do?

If the passport you used to apply for the ESTA has changed, has expired or is lost or stolen, you will need to start the application process again for a new travel authorization.

I’ve made a mistake on my ESTA application regarding my Passport Number, Issuance or Expiration Date. How can I fix it?

All applicants are given an opportunity to review the information they supply and ensure that it is correct before submitting the application. You can make changes to your application prior to submitting payment. This includes all data except the passport number and passport issuing country.

I forgot to include my middle name on my ESTA application, what should I do?

If your middle name is not shown on your application under 'First (given) Names', then you will need to apply for a new ESTA.

Can I update my ESTA if my name has changed through marriage or divorce?

If your personal circumstances have changed for any other reason, such as your name changed prior to your departure to the United States, then you will need to apply for a new ESTA.

Do I need to update my ESTA if I have recently been convicted of a crime?

If answers to the ESTA eligibility questions regarding criminal, immigration, or drug history are no longer accurate, you will need apply for a new ESTA using data that most accurately affects your current circumstances.

I need to update my application to edit, but I’ve forgotten my application number, what do I do?

You can retrieve your application number by checking the status of your ESTA, and entering all the information requested on the form except the ‘Application Number’. You will need to have the following information available to check the status:

  • Passport Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Issuing Country
  • Passport Issuance Date
  • Passport Expiry Date

The system will provide your Application Number and direct you to the page where you can edit the applicant’s contact email address and the applicant’s address while in the U.S.

Conclusion

Keeping your ESTA application up-to-date will reduce the likelihood of facing any issues during your travels to the United States. Carefully checking ESTA applicant information prior to submission will ensure that your applications are approved quickly without any unnecessary delays or resubmissions. In the event of obtaining a new passport, name, or changes to eligibility will require new ESTA submissions thus travelers should plan ahead to apply for a new ESTA at least 72 hours or more before their departure to the United States.

If you hold a passport from a visa waiver country such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or other Western European Country, and wish to obtain an ESTA for tourist, business, medical or transit purposes, get started on your application now:

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ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization for travelers visiting the United States either by Sea or Air for tourism, transit or business visits under 90 days.

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