ESTA Application - Citizens of Ireland can Apply

ESTA is a requirement for citizens of Ireland

Irish citizens entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are required to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). ESTA is a required "travel permit;" it is not a U.S. visa. It has been a requirement since January 12, 2009. All applicants must also have a valid machine-readable passport or ePassport. The conditions apply to travellers entering the United States by air or sea under the Visa Waiver Program. Irish travellers without an approved ESTA application or a valid U.S. Visa may be denied boarding on all U.S.-bound flights. Since December 2018, the U.S. government recommends that all Irish applicants apply for ESTA 72 hours before departing a U.S.-bound aircraft or cruise to the United States.


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Disclaimer: This website provides information about the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, and is a private website not affiliated with the U.S. government. Outgoing links on this website goes to a third-party website that offers assistance in submitting ESTA applications. The service is provided by a private company, which charges a fee of US$ 74,00 in addition to the U.S. government fee of US$ 14,00. The total service fee for their service is US$ 88,00. If you do not wish to use a private company, you may submit your ESTA application directly at the official U.S. government website.



Common questions & answers about ESTA

What is an ESTA?

ESTA is an abbreviation for the "Electronic System for Travel Authorization.” It is an online application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travellers entering the country under the VWP before they are allowed to board an airplane or ship that is bound for the United States. An ESTA and a US Visa are not the same and is only an entry requirement for passport holders from visa waiver countries, which includes Ireland.


How long does an ESTA take to complete?

The ESTA application form takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. Depending on the service you use, it may take up to 72 hours to know if you are approved for travel or not. Anyone who is denied through ESTA may apply for a US visitor visa (B-1 Business or B-2 Tourist visa). If you are unsure about the validity of your travel authorisation, you may check the status of your ESTA online.


How long does an ESTA last?

The validity of an approved ESTA lasts typically for 2 years depending on the travellers' citizenship. For Irish citizens, it lasts for 2 years depending on passport expiration dates. If the applicants’ passport expires in less than 2 years, the ESTA will also expire on that same date.


Do I need to apply for an ESTA?

All Irish passport holders who wish to enter or transit through the United States by air or sea under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for an ESTA. Each traveller must have his or her own approved ESTA application before being allowed to board any U.S.-bound flight or cruise (including children and infants). Travellers are advised to apply 72 hours before check-in at the airport. Travellers without an approved travel authorisation will likely be denied check-in and boarding at the airport.


What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program created by the U.S. government, which enables citizens of 39 countries to enter the USA for tourism, business, short-term study programs and for medical reasons. Citizens visiting the United States under this program can stay for up to 90 days without obtaining a US visa. A visa application can take weeks or months to finalise, while the ESTA application can be completed online within 10-15 minutes. Ireland was added to the list of VWP countries on April 1, 1995.


Which countries participate in the VWP?

As of 2019, these countries are part of the VWP: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Other countries that might be added to the VWP in the future are Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus.



A travel authorization is normally valid for 2 years (unless your passport expires earlier).
You can apply for your travel authorization at any time and do not need to have your itinerary arranged in advance.