Children: Do they need ESTA authorisation?

Rating: 3.92 13 votes
Children: Do they need ESTA authorisation?

Are you planning to travel shortly to the United States with your family? Maybe you already know that you will need to apply for ESTA authorisation for you and other adults in your group, but what about the children? As we shall look at here, children also need their own ESTA authorisation to be entitled to travel to the USA. In this article, amongst other details, we explain how to apply for travel authorisation for a minor and which documents you will need for this visit to ensure you encounter no disruptions to your travel plans.


How to obtain ESTA authorisation for a child?

An ESTA authorisation application for a child is therefore obligatory, even for a young child, in the same way as for an adult and for any travel to or via the United States. As a result, this authorisation will also be required for you and your family for a stopover or transit via the USA.

To obtain this ESTA authorisation for your children you will have to follow the same procedure as with your own application. Of course you should explain in the application that you are the responsible adult for this or these children. To simplify this procedure it is best to create all ESTA applications from the same website and commence the procedure as a group. In this way, the decisions of the American authorities concerning your application and those of your children will be transmitted at the same time.

The questions you will be asked in the online form that you need to complete for your children are of course slightly different to those relating to you. You should therefore pay extremely careful attention when you supply the necessary information. Do not forget of course to have your children’s passport numbers close to hand.


Which documents are required for a child travelling to the United States?

As you have probably understood from the preceding information, ESTA authorisation should definitely not be overlooked for your children when preparing a visit to the United States. However this is not the only administrative constraint.

Clearly, your child should have their own biometric or electronic passport, which is valid for the entirety of the visit. It is also important to check that the full names, including first names, of your children are printed on all travel documents such as the flight ticket or other documents, even if the children are registered on your tickets or documents. If this is not the case then ask your travel company or agency to amend them as necessary.

Please note that ESTA authorisation for a child incurs the same payment amount as for an adult as the costs of transferring and processing the application by the American immigration services are the same. The same is true for the validity period and response time.

Online ESTA application form