ESTA, which stands for "Electronic System for Travel Authorization", is a system set up by the US government to facilitate temporary visa-free travel for citizens of participating countries, including the UK. It enables travellers' eligibility to be checked before they arrive in the United States. One of the key points to remember is that the ESTA is closely linked to your passport. When you apply for an ESTA, you must provide your passport details, such as number and expiry date. The ESTA is therefore linked to a specific passport and can only be used with that passport. However, British travellers sometimes have to deal with passport changes, whether due to expiry, loss, theft or even simple renewal. In such cases, it is important to know what steps to take regarding your ESTA. This is precisely the subject we will cover on this page. We will guide you through the steps involved in changing your passport and explain whether you need to renew your ESTA or simply update the information on your existing authorisation. By understanding these procedures, you will be better prepared for your trip and avoid any inconvenience or delays when you arrive in the United States.
Understanding ESTA and how it relates to your passport
ESTA, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization, is an electronic system developed by the US government to facilitate visa-free travel for citizens of eligible countries, including the UK. It applies to tourist, business or transit trips lasting less than 90 days.
To obtain an ESTA, it is important to understand the eligibility requirements. British travellers must be in possession of a valid biometric or electronic passport. In addition, their trip must be for an eligible purpose, such as tourism, business, transit or medical care. Stays of more than 90 days or those with a purpose other than those authorised require an appropriate visa.
The ESTA is closely linked to the traveller's passport. When applying for ESTA, you must provide your passport details, including number, date of issue and expiry date. This information is verified and linked to your travel authorisation. It is therefore essential to ensure that the information you provide when applying for ESTA corresponds exactly to the information in your passport.
Once the ESTA has been approved, it is valid for two years, unless your passport expires before that date. In this case, the ESTA will automatically expire on the expiry date of your passport. It is important to note that the ESTA is not transferable from one passport to another. If you obtain a new passport, even if it is identical to your previous one, you will need to update the information on your ESTA so that it is associated with the new passport.
It is crucial to understand the interdependence between the ESTA and the passport. Any change to your passport may have implications for your ESTA.
Passport changes and ESTA implications:
Travellers may need to change their passport in various situations, such as when their current passport expires, is lost or stolen, or even when they decide to renew it before its scheduled expiry date. In such cases, it is important to understand the implications of this change for your ESTA.
- Change of passport identical to the previous one: If your new passport is identical to the previous one in terms of personal information (same number, name, date of birth, etc.), you will simply need to update the information on your ESTA. To do this, visit the official ESTA website and follow the steps to update your personal details. This procedure will link your ESTA to your new passport number, while maintaining the validity of the authorisation until its original expiry date.
- Passport change with modifications: If your new passport contains modifications compared to your previous one, such as a new passport number, a name change due to marriage or a legal change, or any other different information, you will need to renew your ESTA in full. In this case, it is important to note that your old ESTA authorisation will no longer be valid and a new application will have to be submitted. Make sure you respect the necessary deadlines before your trip to avoid any inconvenience.
When renewing your ESTA, you will need to provide the exact details of your new passport. It is advisable to keep an electronic copy of your old passport, as well as supporting documents to explain the change of passport, such as marriage certificates, name change decrees, etc. These documents may be requested at the time of renewal. These documents may be requested during the renewal procedure.
Recommendations and advice on ESTA for passport changes
The following is a summary of the main points to bear in mind when dealing with a change of passport and the ESTA:
- The ESTA is closely linked to your passport and is associated with your passport details when you apply.
- If you change your passport, the procedures to follow depend on the nature of the change.
- If your new passport is identical to your previous one, update your ESTA details on the official ESTA website.
- If your new passport contains changes, you will need to renew your ESTA in full.
- Respect the necessary deadlines and provide the appropriate supporting documents for passport changes.
- Keep an electronic copy of your old passport and any supporting documents.
- Carefully check the information you provide when updating or renewing your ESTA.
- Update or renew as soon as possible to avoid last-minute delays.
In addition to these points, here are a few practical tips to avoid potential problems when travelling to the United States:
- Be aware of the expiry dates of your ESTA and passport. Make sure you renew them on time if necessary.
- Check with the relevant authorities for current regulations concerning the ESTA and travel to the United States, as they may be updated or amended.
- Check the official ESTA website regularly for the latest information and instructions.