What is the price of an ESTA application and the costs involved?

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What is the price of an ESTA application and the costs involved?

Are you about to visit the United States for a holiday or for business reasons? If you plan a visit of less than 90 days and you are a citizen of one of the country members of the ESTA system you can benefit from this online solution to request travel authorisation. Of course, as with the majority of situations relating to administrative procedures, this procedure is payable. Here we will explain the fees and costs related to the ESTA application form and provide some explanations for the price.


What is the fee or cost for an ESTA application form submission?

The first thing you should know concerning the fee for the submission of the ESTA application form is that payment is only requested when the application is finally submitted for approval. You can modify the information entered as much, and as many times, as you wish before payment.

The fee for the ESTA application form varies between one website and another in accordance with the services offered by each provider. Part of the amount paid is directly destined for the American immigration service responsible for studying your application. The other part covers the costs engendered by the website for the availability of the form and the intermediary services provided.

On our website for example, you are offered this service with the form available in several languages together with advice on its completion and preparation for your trip for only €55.


Why is there a fee for the ESTA application form?

As we have noted above, the fee for an ESTA application form is justified by the time and resources required for making it available, as well as the processing by the relevant legal authorities.

Although the fee associated with a visa application appears higher given that the ESTA procedure is completed online in an automatic fluid manner, it is still normal that the personnel responsible for verifying the applications one by one receive payment for their work.

Part of this fee is also paid to the website that makes this application form available, with the additional objective of financing and paying for the advice and explanations given.  Our website is one of the least expensive as you may have noticed yourself when researching online.


Will the fee change for future ESTA application forms?

If you have already completed an ESTA application in the past you should know that you do not have to pay the fees you previously paid except under certain conditions. If your initial authorisation was less than two years ago and your situation has not changed then another payment will not be required.

It should also be noted that if your first ESTA application is refused by the immigrations service, you have the possibility of reapplying 10 days after your initial application has been refused by completing a new application form. You will have to repay the same fee you paid for your initial application.


The acceptable means of payment for the ESTA authorisation application:

To pay the amount required during the submission of your ESTA application form, you have a variety of different means of payment available to choose from including bank transfer and credit card. However, credit card payments are better as they are faster and more secure.

If you only submit your authorisation application a few days before your departure date, this solution will enable you to avoid certain unpleasant surprises as if a transfer does not arrive on time on the beneficiary’s account, the authorisation application cannot be forwarded and therefore will not be verified before your trip.


Are special price available for certain visitors to the United States?

Certain documents are available at a reduced rate for people according to their income, their professional situation, age or family situation but this is unfortunately not the case with the ESTA application form.

In fact, given that each ESTA application form absolutely needs to be individually verified by the American authorities, its cost remains the same whatever the situation of each applicant. Each person that applies for travel authorisation to the United States will therefore need to pay the entirety of the required application costs and fees that ensure that their application will be processed quickly as well as the fees to cover the services rendered by the website that offers the application form in their language and transmits it electronically to the American authorities responsible for immigration.

Although there exists the possibility of creating a group ESTA application for the USA and thereby applying for several accompanying visitors or family members at the same time, this type of application does not offer the advantage of any price reduction when paying for the fees and costs.

It is exactly the same for ESTA application forms completed with the objective of a simple transit or stopover on American territory. In fact, the verification process is exactly the same in these situations and requires the same time spent in careful examination and implementation of the same criteria.

Finally, it is important to note that children, even those really young, will also need ESTA authorisation to travel to the USA, even if they are accompanied by their parents. Therefore it will equally be necessary to pay these fees and cost for each of their ESTA applications.


Is the price of an ESTA application less costly than other procedures?

As you probably already know, there is another way of travelling to the United States offering the right to stay in the country. This is of course the classic visa. Generally visitors that can use the ESTA system tend to prefer to do so rather than choosing a visa which requires the completion of a longer and far more tedious paper procedure. But this is not the only difference between an ESTA and a visa.

In fact, the price of these two procedures is also very different and an ESTA is far less expensive than the classic visa. It is important to remember that a visa application costs between €130 and €260 depending on the situation of the applicant and can take several weeks before the applicant obtains their travel authorisation.

The ESTA however is far less costly, the payment required to cover costs and fees rarely exceeds €70 per person and therefore per application.

Visitors that have the choice between applying for an online ESTA authorisation and a visa from the Embassy will of course find it easier to select the first option firstly for financial reasons as it is a lot cheaper but also due to the savings in time as you obtain a response to your ESTA application within 72 hours.


Will you be required to pay other costs supplementary to the price of the ESTA and if so in which cases?

If you complete your ESTA authorisation application using our website you will be required to pay €55 per person, regardless of how many people will be accompanying you. Normally, and if you carefully follow the standard procedure, you should have nothing further to pay for your travel authorisation. But, in the case to the contrary, it may be possible that this procedure may cost you more.

This is notably the case if you make mistakes when completing the application form and need to correct them. Once submitted your application can no longer be modified and you will be required to complete an entirely new ESTA application including payment of the costs and fees. It is therefore highly recommended that you complete your application at a time and in a place where you will not be disturbed so that you can take the time to carefully read and answer each question and not make any mistakes. Particularly pay attention to the accuracy of your passport number and email address before finally submitting your application.

When you obtain your ESTA authorisation we also recommend that you keep your reference number in a safe place as it could prove to be useful in case of worries or queries.

With certain specific errors you do have the possibility of making modifications to your ESTA free of charge. This particularly relates to your destination, the airline you use and the number of your flight. It is also possible to change your email address without a supplementary payment. However, all personal information such as your passport number, name, address, or place or date of birth cannot be changed without a supplementary payment of the fees and costs. To complete these modifications and update your ESTA you will need to access it online using the reference number that was given to you. In the case of major modifications you will need to complete a new ESTA application.

The refusal of your ESTA application due to a mistake on your part can give rise to a new application but you will need to wait for a while after receiving your notification before applying again. When you do you will again be required to pay the costs and fees associated with your ESTA when you submit your new application to the authorities.

To summarise, and in order to not pay supplementary fees to obtain your travel authorisation to the USA, it is above all recommended to take your time and carefully complete all the questions on the online application form and check all your responses before proceeding with the submission of the form and payment of the associated fees and costs.


What happens if the ESTA payment amount is not debited from your bank account?

Logically speaking, if you use your credit or debit card to complete your ESTA payment you will be immediately informed of the success or failure of the transaction. In certain cases, people who have not received a response to their application after 72 hours actually discover that the payment amount was not debited from their account and have to complete the entire application procedure again. In fact, without completing the payment the application will not be transferred to the American immigration authorities and so the ESTA application will not be processed. 

This is why we highly recommend that you carefully check that your bank account has been correctly debited of the amount of €55 once you have submitted your application online. If this amount has been debited from your account and you do not receive a response to your application within 72 hours then check your junk or spam email inbox and ensure the email address you gave is valid.

Of course, if your account lacks sufficient funds or you have not entirely submitted your application with payment and the payment has not been completed then you will have to recommence the entire ESTA application procedure by completing the ESTA questionnaire again and making the payment.

Online ESTA application form