This article reviews how to submit ESTA applications as a group as well as covers essentially information about ESTA.
What is an ESTA application and why do I need one?
The ESTA application is an online form that eligible foreign nationals holding passports from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must complete before traveling to the US. The application must be completed at least 72 hours before travel. Upon approval, an ESTA is issued for two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever date comes first. The ESTA is required for all travelers who are using the Visa Waiver Program to enter the US for business, tourism or transit. The application collects basic biographical information and questions related to eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program. It also asks about any previous denials of entry to the US, criminal convictions, and communicable diseases. By completing the ESTA application, travelers can expedite their entry into the US.
How can I submit a group ESTA application on behalf of my friends or family members?
When applying for an ESTA, you have the option to apply for multiple people at once. The first step is to create a profile for the Group Contact Person. The Group Contact Person will need to provide their Family name, First (Given) name, Date of birth, and E-mail address. After doing so, they will be able to manage a group of applications and add new applications to the group, including one for themselves. Once the Group Contact Person has finished filling out the forms for each traveler in their group, they will be able to submit the application for all members of the group at once. Furthermore, a single debit or credit card transaction can be used to complete payment for the entire group.
What are the benefits of submitting a group ESTA application instead of applying for each individual person separately?
When traveling to the United States with several people, it is generally advisable to submit a single ESTA application on behalf of the group. This has several advantages over submitting separate individual applications. For one thing, it saves time. It is important that everyone in the group meets the requirements for entry under the VWP. Finally, by applying for a group ESTA, you can be sure that everyone in your party can enter the United States without needing to apply for a U.S. visa.
How long does it take to process a group ESTA application, and when will I receive my final decision from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)?
Once all group applications have been submitted, it usually takes around 72 hours for CBP to process the applications and render a final decision. The Group Contact Person will be notified of the decisions via email, and each member of the group will receive their own individual email. Please be aware that it is possible for some members of the group to receive a different decision from CBP (for example, if one member has a criminal history). In this case, that member may need to apply for a visa instead of an ESTA. If you have any questions about the application process, you can contact CBP Customer Service.
What if someone in the group is denied?
If an application for an ESTA is denied, there are a few options available. The first option is to reapply for the ESTA. If you believe that the reason for your denial was in error, or if your circumstances have changed, you may be eligible for approval on your second try. Another option is to apply for a visa through the US embassy or consulate in your home country. This option may be more time-consuming and expensive, but it will allow you to enter the United States even if you have been denied an ESTA.
If one person in the group is denied, will it impact other applicants in the group?
When applying for an ESTA, there are two options available – applying for an individual ESTA, or submitting a group application. In either situation, if a traveler is denied, they will receive communication via email regarding the decision. In a group application, if one traveler is denied, it won’t impact the status of applications of the other ESTA applicants in the group.
Submitting a group ESTA application can save time and provide easier management and oversight for families and large travel groups. If you follow the steps outlined in this article, and have all of the required documentation, it can be a painless process. Keep in mind that there are some risks associated with applying for a group ESTA instead of each person separately, but as long as you’re prepared for those risks, you should have no problem getting your final decisions and ESTA approvals from CBP, hopefully in time for your trip to the U.S.