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ESTA for German Citizens

All German nationals visiting the United States of America are required to have prior clearance from the US government. For Germans coming to the USA for a period of 90 days or less, the ESTA can replace a traditional visa. ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is not a visa, but a visa waiver that lets German citizens visit the States for:

  • Business
  • Tourism
  • Medical purposes

Germans can make multiple trips to the USA within that 90-day period and do not need to apply for ESTA from Germany for each new trip. Germany is one of 39 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

ESTA Application from Germany

The ESTA application process for German Citizens is easy, quick, and can be done online. Application takes roughly ten minutes per person.
To submit a successful application, make sure that:

  • All information is entered correctly, especially passport details
  • All questions are answered honestly
  • All details have been verified before submission
  • The email address provided is valid

Applications are usually approved instantly, but it can take up to 3 days for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to review ESTA for German citizens, so it is a good idea to apply for an ESTA from Germany at least 72 hours before departure.

The ESTA will be valid for 2 years following approval and can be used at any time within those 2 years. If the passport for which the ESTA was issued expires before this 2-year limit, however, the ESTA will also expire.

Please note that infants, children, and other minors require their own individual ESTA, even if traveling with a parent.

Necessary Documentation to Apply for ESTA from Germany

To apply for a German ESTA, the following documentation is required:

  • Valid German passport that is machine-readable (with chip)

For an ESTA to be approved, this passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the traveler’s expected date of arrival in the USA.

It is also recommended for German travelers to bring their medical insurance documentation with them on their trip to the US.

Note that the following categories of traveler are not eligible to apply for ESTA Germany (or any other country), but may still be eligible for a visa:

  • Individuals with criminal records
  • Travelers with serious infectious diseases which may possibly pose a threat to public health in the United States
  • Those who have previously been refused admission to the United States, been deported from the United States, or previously stayed in the United States for more than 90 days on the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA)
  • Anyone who has visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or since March 1, 2011

Please note that it is also necessary to pay a processing fee to complete an ESTA application from Germany.

Can I Change or Update my ESTA Application for German Citizens After Submitting It?

Some information on an ESTA application can be changed after it has been submitted. For example, if your email address has changed, that can be updated on the ESTA website. However, if the passport information on the application is incorrect, you have received a new passport, or you have changed your name, a new application will be required.

The ESTA website is also where applicants can check the status of their ESTA application. Here, German ESTA applicants can verify their ESTA issue date, expiry date, and personal details.

Basic Requirements for German Citizens to Enter the USA

In order to enter the United States of America, German Citizens:

  • Must hold a valid, machine-readable passport
  • Must hold a valid ESTA Germany (or visa)

How Long Can a German Citizen Stay in the US?

German citizens can stay in the US for up to 90 days on an ESTA.

To make a longer trip, Germans must apply for a tourist visa. This could be a B2 Visa, known as a Travel or Visitor Visa, or the B1 Visa, known as a Business Visa. These visas are classed as non-immigrant visas and must be applied for at a United States embassy or consulate.

Health Safety Information when Entering the USA on an ESTA for German Citizens

German visitors to the USA can rest assured that the country is generally safe and there are no vaccination advisories in place.

Is an ESTA Application from Germany Necessary for Transit Through America?

German travelers with stops and layovers in the USA, no matter how long or short, will need an ESTA Germany for transit.

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