For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with the term ‘post-dated passport’, this refers to a passport that will only become valid at a future date. Such a passport can not be used for travel until that day arrives.
In the United States, for example, the Department Of State has determined that anyone can apply for a passport as long as 12 months before they will need it. In cases where you submit a passport application longer than a year before you will need it, you will be issued a post-dated passport.
As far as submitting an ESTA application is concerned, the rules determine that if you have a post-dated passport that, for example, will only become valid on the date of your marriage, you will not be allowed to submit an ESTA application with that passport before your marriage. You will only be able to do so after the marriage, i.e. once the passport has become valid.
As we all know, getting married can be a hectic period with lots of issues to attend to. That is why we recommend that you set up a reminder on your smartphone so you won’t forget to submit the ESTA application before your honeymoon trip to the US departs. It normally only takes a few minutes to get a response.
Will my approved ESTA remain active after my passport has expired?
The answer here is a big no. Your approved ESTA will, unfortunately, expire with your passport. That is because it is linked to that specific passport number. Once you get a new passport, you will have to submit an application for a new ESTA.
What else do I have to keep in mind when I apply for an ESTA?
- It is better to submit an application for an ESTA as soon as possible. Theoretically, you can wait until the last moment, but you risk not being allowed to board your flight.
- To succeed with an ESTA application, you need a passport that will remain valid for 6 months or longer after you plan to leave the United States again.
- You need a credit/debit card or a Paypal account with sufficient funds to pay for the application fee.
- Applications are submitted online at the CBP website, so you need an Internet connection and a valid email address where they can contact you.
I successfully applied for an ESTA, but since then, my name has changed.
If you submitted an ESTA application a while ago and it was approved, but since then, your name has changed because of divorce, marriage, or other legal proceedings, you will have to submit a new ESTA application before you can travel to the U.S.
If your old name still appears on your passport, you can try submitting an ESTA application using your old passport details, but when you get to the question of whether a different name or alias knows you, you should provide your new name. You will then be traveling with a passport in your old name and a ticket carrying your new name. To eliminate any possible confusion, we recommend that you bring with you a copy of your divorce decree, marriage license, or related legal documentation to prove the connection between your new name and the name that appears on your passport.
Do my children also have to submit ESTA applications?
Anyone who wants to travel under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) needs an approved ESTA, irrespective of his or her age. Today’s kids are increasingly becoming international travelers and often join their parents on overseas trips from a very young age. If you are from a Visa Waiver country and want to take your children to the United States, however, you will have to get approved ESTAs for all of them. We recommend that you do this as early as possible. It is never a good idea to postpone an ESTA application until the last possible moment because if there are any issues, you might not have enough time to sort them out. There is nothing that stops you from applying for an ESTA up to 90 days before the start of your journey to the U.S.
Except for a post-dated passport, what other reasons could there be for an ESTA application to be rejected?
There are quite a few reasons why the authorities could reject an ESTA application. Here are a few of them:
- You have a criminal record. If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be ineligible for ESTA. This includes crimes that have been expunged from your record.
- You have a history of not adhering to visa requirements. If you have, e.g., overstayed your visa in the United States in the past, you may be ineligible for ESTA.
- You are a national of a country that is not part of the Visa Waiver Program. The VWP (Visa Waiver Program) enables nationals of a long list of countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism purposes for a maximum of 90 days without having to apply for a visa. If you are a national of a country that is not part of the VWP, you will need to apply for a visa.
- You suffer from a medical condition that could pose a risk to public health. If you have a medical condition that might pose a risk to public health, you could be deemed ineligible for an ESTA. The list includes conditions such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and certain contagious diseases.
- You belong to a terrorist organization or have ties to terrorism. If you are a member of a terrorist organization or you have ties to terrorism, your ESTA application will be denied.
- You have provided false information on your ESTA application. If you have entered false information on your ESTA application, it will be rejected.
- You are considered to be a security risk. If you are regarded as a security risk, your ESTA application will also most likely be rejected. This, e.g., includes people who have been involved in espionage or other activities that could threaten U.S. national security.
If your ESTA application is denied, you will get an email explaining the reason for the denial. You are allowed to appeal the decision, but there is no guarantee that it will be successful. If your appeal is also denied, your only other option is to apply for a visa.
Here are a few other tips that should help prevent having your ESTA application denied:
- Make sure that you answered all the questions on the application form truthfully.
- In case you have questions regarding your ESTA application, contact the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) before hitting the submit button.
- If you have a history of overstaying your visa or a criminal record, make sure that you mention this on the ESTA application form.
- If you suffer from a medical condition that might potentially hold a risk to U.S. public health, don’t neglect to mention this on the ESTA application.
- If you belong to a terrorist organization or you have direct ties to terrorism, rather do not apply for an ESTA.