ESTA authorisation for travel to the United States
What is ESTA?
If you travel to the United States and you are a citizen of a country under the Visa Waiver Programme, you will have to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) travel authorisation.
- You need to apply no later than 72 hours before departure. After this, you can still apply for ESTA, but if denied there may not be enough time to apply for the necessary visa.
- You will need to pay a fee only if you have a new passport, or if your previous ESTA authorisation has expired.
- You need to apply to be able to check in online at KLM.com, regardless of where your passport was issued. This does not apply if you have a United States resident permit.
Apply for ESTAIf you need ESTA you can choose to let our partner CIBT take care of everything for you. For a small fee, CIBT offers:
- A complete check of what you need for your trip.
- Arranging ESTA or other necessary travel documents – even renewal your passport - before you depart. No filling out forms or time-consuming correspondence.
- All applications ready for submission within 72 hours after your request – guaranteed.
- Live assistance for any question you may have.
Apply for ESTA via CIBT
Or you can apply directly for ESTA via the US Customs and Border Protection.
Apply for ESTA via the US Customs and Border Protection
Important: When applying for ESTA, please make sure you enter the information exactly as stated in your passport.
After you applied
Receiving confirmation of your ESTA travel authorization may take up to 72 hours. After approval, you will receive a reference number. Be sure to print the ESTA application response: you will need the application number to change your ESTA information when your passport expires.
ESTA authorisation remains valid for 2 years. During these 2 years, you may travel to the United States as often as you like, until any answers to the YES/NO questions in your ESTA application change, or until your passport expires.
If you do not receive ESTA authorisation immediately, please use your ESTA application number to check whether permission for departure will still be issued. You should make sure to do this well in advance because you may need to apply for a visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate.
We recommend you bring a print-out of the ESTA application response to the departure airport.