USA Visa FAQ's

Do I need to take a paper print out of my ESTA authorisation with me to the airport when I travel?

No, it is not compulsory. Provided confirmation has been received and approved; the authorisation record will show on the system when the traveller’s passport data is scanned by the airline staff upon check- in at the airport. 

It is only a recommendation that travellers print out their approved authorisation, as a record of confirmation if needed for future travel within the validity of the ESTA authorisation.

How long is my ESTA approval valid for?

ESTA approval is valid for two years or until your passport expires, (whichever is sooner) from the date of issue. Travellers can enter multiple times within the 90 day validity.

I have lost my original ESTA authorisation number? How do I locate this?

Previous approved ESTA authorisation can be located through the ‘Update or Check the status of a Previously Submitted Authorisation to Travel to the United States tab’ on the U.S Department of homeland and Security webpage.

If you have applied for your authorisation through CIBTvisas, we can retrieve your original authorisation.  Please email usa@cibtvisas.com.au providing us with the following details:

  • Surname
  • First name
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Number
  • Passport Issuing country

How do I correct a mistake made on my ESTA travel authorisation?

If a mistake or error is made pertaining to the traveller passport or biographical information a complete new application must be submitted.

The US Department of homeland security fee and our CIBTvisas handling fee will be re charged for each new application that needs to be re applied for.

If you have made an error please email our CIBTvisas US department; usa@cibtvisas.com.au

  • Included your CIBTvisas order reference number,
  • ESTA confirmation email
  • Requested amendment to be changed

My ESTA approval will expire whilst I am in the USA. Do I need a new ESTA prior to travel?

If a ESTA travel authorisation expires before the traveller leaves the US, the traveller is not required to apply for another. The traveller will need to apply for a new ESTA upon return to cover future travel back to the US.

Do I have to update or reapply for my ESTA authorisation every time I travel to the USA?

Travellers must reapply for new ESTA travel approval in the circumstance where by their previous data submitted has changed or ESTA expires.

  • Traveller is issued a new passport
  • Traveller  changes their name
  • Traveller  changes gender
  • Traveller’s country of citizenship changes
  • Traveller’s previously responded ESTA application questions “yes” or “no” , change

Whilst passport and biographical information must complete on the ESTA Authorisation, there are several fields that are not compulsory and can be updated at any stage throughout the validity of the ESTA, without having any impact on the overall approved authorisation.

  • E-mail address
  • Telephone contact data,
  • Carrier Information
  • City where you are boarding
  • Address of stay whilst in the United States

In what circumstance must I obtain a visa?

  • Travellers intending to arrive in the United States aboard a non-signatory air carrier or private carrier
  • Travellers holding  a one way ticket
  • Travellers intending to visit the United States for more than 90 days or terminate travel in one of the contiguous territories or adjacent islands
  • Travellers not entering for the intended short-stay purpose of business, pleasure or transit travel
  • Travellers holding a passport from a country not eligible to apply under the visa waiver program for a ESTA
  • If you believe any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a) apply to you, you should apply for a non-immigrant visa before travelling to Although you may be inadmissible to the United States, you may qualify for a non-immigrant visa and waiver, which will allow you to travel to the United States.

What do I do in the circumstance that I am not eligible to apply for an ESTA authorisation?

Travellers holding a passport from a country that is not eligible to apply for travel under the visa waiver program or travellers entering the US that do not meet the required terms and conditions for entry under the Visa Waiver Program, must apply for a USA visa prior to travel.
Travellers are required to attend a personal interview at the US Consulate by pre arranged appointment.

Website:   https://au.usembassy.gov/visas/

I hold more than one passport. Do I need more than one ESTA authorisation?

Yes. ESTA approval is passenger/ passport specific.  Travellers holding dual nationality and or more than one passport utilising this for entry to the US, need to ensure that all visa waiver rules are still meet and hold an approved travel authorisation for each passport.

If a traveller obtains a new passport, they must obtain a new ESTA travel authorisation using the new passport. A processing fee will be charged for each new application submitted.

What does it mean when I am told that my ESTA Authorisation is ‘Pending’ a response?

In most cases travellers that meet the correct requirements for entry to the US under the visa waiver program will receive instant confirmation.

However in some cases travel authorisation is referred and put under review because an immediate answer could not be made. A confirmation will usually be determination within 72 hours.

Do I need to have an ESTA authorisation if am entering the USA via overland travel from Canada?

No. If entering into the United States by land, you must be in possession of a completed I-94W form issued by the immigration authorities at the border port of entry.  A fee of USD$6.00 (approx) will be levied.

Does my ESTA guarantee me admission to the United States?

No an ESTA does not guarantee you entry in to the United States. It means that you are considered eligible to travel under the visa waiver program.   Customs and Border Protection officers have the final authority for determining admission.

I am unsure how to answer the following questions on my USA ESTA visa application form

(Please note this Information had been directly copied from the U.S Department of homeland and Security webpage)

  • Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?
  • Crimes involving moral turpitude - Such offenses generally involve conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed to persons or society in general. There are factors, such as the age of the offender or the date of the offense that may affect whether an offense will be considered a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • For further information refer to § 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2), § 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) and corresponding regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations

Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder; or are you a drug abuser or addict

Communicable Diseases

Under United States law communicable diseases of public health significance include:

  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Granuloma inguinale
  • Leprosy, infectious
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum
  • Syphilis, infectious stage
  • Tuberculosis, active
  • And others as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.

      
       Physical or Mental Disorders

       With regard to physical or mental disorders, answer ”Yes” to this question if:

  • You currently have a physical or mental disorder and a history of behaviour associated with the disorder that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others;
  • You had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behaviour associated with the disorder that has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others and the behaviour is likely to recur or lead to other harmful behaviour. Answer ”No” if:

(a) You currently have no physical or mental disorders; or
(b) You have or had a physical or mental disorder without associated behaviour that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare of that of others; or

(c) You currently have a physical or mental disorder with associated behaviour, but that behaviour has not posed, does not currently pose nor will pose a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or
(d) You had a physical or mental disorder with associated behaviour that posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others, but that behaviour is unlikely to recur. 

Drug Abusers and Drug Addicts

Under United States law persons may not be admissible if they have been determined to be a drug abuser or drug addict 

For further information refer to § 212(a) (1) (A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a) (1) (A), and corresponding regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.