Want to travel to the United States? If you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries that make up the Visa Waiver Programs, you can apply online for an ESTA travel authorization using the electronic system that has been in place for several years.
Since 2012, a new feature allows you to apply for ESTA for groups, such as families. The ESTA family application simplifies the overall process and also saves valuable time, as outlined below. A family trip to the USA has the potential to be a memorable experience and obtaining a family ESTA is as simple as obtaining an ESTA for a single traveler.
The ESTA group application for a family is a straightforward online document. Families that wish to travel to the United States for less than 90 days and who are citizens of one of Visa Waiver Program countries can apply directly online for an ESTA and thus easily receive their travel authorization.
To save time during the application process, travelers must use a special website function to apply for several authorizations at once. The tool also allows users to centralize information in a single application. A single person can thus submit an ESTA application for the entire family.
To obtain an ESTA for a group, the applicant needs only the information for each individual family member, including passport numbers, dates of birth, addresses, etc.
The cost of an ESTA family application is the same as if each family member applies individually. There is no specific discount for families or groups.
Remember that this feature can also be used by groups of friends or who are planning a trip together. An ESTA group application is filed in the same way as a family application.
The steps to get an ESTA group application for a family are similar to the steps needed to get a single ESTA. The main difference is that the person completing the group ESTA needs to have all the details of all the members traveling to the USA.
How to complete a family ESTA application? Access the ESTA application form and choose the combined group option. Bear in mind that you will need to complete the details of each family member. You or the person completing the ESTA family group application will also have to answer all the questions, even children are required to have an ESTA travel authorization.
In order to successfully obtain an ESTA for a family or group, each member must have a valid biometric passport. All passports must have the minimum validity required by the US immigration department. Make sure that all the members on your group or family are eligible for an ESTA, there are many nationalities that need to apply for different type of visa in order to travel to the United States.
Once the family ESTA application has been completed with all of the required information for each traveler, the ESTA fee will need to be paid by credit or debit card in order to finish with the group ESTA application process.
When the group ESTA has been submitted, the system will process the application. The moment the ESTA for family has been approved you will be able to travel to the United States along with your family members.
The ESTA group can be used for families and group of friends. This means that you don’t have to be related to the people applying for a group ESTA. However, it does mean that you have all the information required by the group ESTA application form for each single member of your group.
The cost of the group ESTA is no greater or cheaper than the cost of a single ESTA, the difference is that the group ESTA saves the traveler’s time as it allows them to provide all the necessary information in a single application.
All foreign nationals are required to have legal authorization to enter the U.S. Age or nationality are not factors that might influence this regulation. Each member of a family group traveling together must make a separate application for an ESTA. If any of the family members does not qualify for the travel authorization, they should apply for a B2 tourist visa or a B1 work visa.
Making a group application will not influence the results of individual applications.
Applicants with an “Authorization ESTA Pending” status should be patient and allow for up to 72 hours to see an updated status.
The first advantage of filing an ESTA family application is the time and effort you’ll save when you complete the online travel authorization request. But perhaps the most important benefit is that managing the application is simple. All of the information is centralized in a single person – such as a parent, when it’s a family that files the application – which allows changes or clarifications to be made easier.
Parents can also submit an ESTA application for children who are minors or are of legal age to make sure that every member of the family has their authorized ESTA before their trip to the United States. Please note that each child must possess a biometric passport to apply for an ESTA travel authorization. It is not possible to file an application if a child is included on the same passport as one of the parents.
You may need to access your ESTA group application again. For example, you may have made a mistake on your ESTA application, or you may need to add a new traveler or modify your travel dates.
You can easily locate your application thanks to the application number that you received via email. You can also use the information the group’s identifying details, the parents’ family name that was used on the ESTA application, or simply using the email address used to localize your record.
It’s also important to know that approved ESTA authorizations are delivered individually. This means that someone can travel with an ESTA that was requested as part of a group application can travel individually to the United States in the future for the next 2 years, the validity of the ESTA.
Completing an ESTA family or group application is a real plus when it comes to the process. Travelers save time and can manage their applications more easily. It’s even more beneficial if you are planning on traveling with friends or in a group. After receiving your ESTA travel authorization, the only thing left will be to dream about your trip and all the things you will discover during your trip to the United States!