U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) web application has been updated to allow for multiple applications to be submitted and paid for in one transaction. The new online application will be available August 15, CBP says.
Applicants must enter biographic data and an email address to create a Group ID that will allow a family or group the ability to input up to 50 ESTA applications and complete the transaction in a single credit card payment.
This change will allow efficiencies for both families and group travel by reducing the redundancy of having to submit each application in a separate transaction with the previous system, CBP says.
All payments for ESTA applications must be made by credit card or debit card when applying for or renewing an ESTA. ESTA - the Official U.S. Government Website Applications will not be submitted for processing until all payment information is received.
ESTA is an electronic travel authorization that all nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. This travel authorization has been mandatory since Jan. 12, 2009.
ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, however CBP, recommends applying at least 72 hours prior to departure to ensure smooth processing.
Once approved, authorizations are generally valid for multiple entries into the U.S. for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires or other specific circumstances give rise to a need to reapply, whichever comes first.
The VWP is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and enables eligible nationals of 36 VWP designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Additional information regarding the VWP is available on online.