ESTA Authorization for Minors
Do children need an ESTA for USA?
One of the essential requirements before traveling to the USA is to apply for a conventional visa or an ESTA visa for USA. The type of travel authorization required will depend on whether you are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Often, one of the most frequently asked questions by parents is:
Does my child need an ESTA for the United States?
They're still a child. This article aims to clarify this doubt by providing all the necessary information.
ESTA Permit for Children
Adults, children, and infants must have a valid ESTA authorization when traveling to the United States. This rule applies equally to all travelers, regardless of their age. It is mandatory for anyone wishing to enter the United States to have an ESTA entry authorization or a regular US tourist visa before embarking on their journey. This is one of the most important requirements established by the US customs and border control. The same requirement also applies to those who make a stopover in the USA for another destination. In conclusion, it is necessary for children whose nationality is included in the list of Visa Waiver Program countries to apply for an ESTA to travel to the United States.
How can I get an ESTA for my child?
Both the ESTA requirements and procedures for traveling to the United States for children are exactly the same as for adults. The minor will need to have their valid passport and fill out the online form to obtain an ESTA. In the case of an adult applying for a minor's permit, they must specify their relationship with the minor they represent.
In these cases, we advise you to make your ESTA application and that of your child (minor) through the same website. For each person applying for ESTA, an independent and unique application must be submitted, but if it is done from the same site, customs will have the procedures combined by surnames or kinship in the same group. This will allow the border protection authorities to access the complete application of your family. To make your ESTA application for children or adults, you can fill out the ESTA form online easily and quickly. We will carefully review your request and provide you with further assistance if needed.
How long does it take to get an ESTA for minors?
Once you have obtained the passport for your minor child, you can fill out the ESTA application. Granting times in most cases are immediate. Within a few hours, you will have the outcome of the ESTA request.
Please note that sometimes the granting times can lengthen, for example, due to the high number of requests, and in some cases, it can even take up to 48 hours. For these reasons, it is advisable to apply for the travel permit at least 10 days before departure to obtain it in time for the trip.
Remember that an ESTA application is necessary for each family member traveling to the United States.
Requirements to obtain authorization for children traveling to the United States
As previously stated, the requirements to obtain ESTA are the same for both adults and children. Specifically, the travel permit can be requested for the following reasons:
- Transit in the USA to another country
- Travel for medical treatment in the USA
The compilation of the ESTA form for a child is the same as for an adult. The form consists of several sections to respond to, which require:
- Traveler information
- Family information (ties and family relationships)
- Address and place of residence of the traveler
- Passport details
- Questions relating to dual citizenship (if applicable)
- Emergency contact
- Travel itinerary
- General visit and safety questions
Filling out the form will not take more than 10 minutes. Remember to answer truthfully. If customs authorities suspect that any of the data entered is incorrect, the request will be rejected.
Note: remember that whether adults, minors, or infants, all travelers will need a conventional visa or ESTA authorization to enter US territory.
Can I apply for ESTA on behalf of a minor?
All those traveling to the United States must have valid travel authorization to enter the country. According to regulations, the application form must be filled out by an adult. In this case, they will do so on behalf of the minor.
To do this, applicants must mark the second option in the "Rights" section, which states "By third parties who apply on behalf of the applicant…". By selecting this option, the primary applicant will accept the ESTA terms and conditions on behalf of the minor. The applicant must answer all questions truthfully and honestly on behalf of the minor. Note: all applicants must have individual ESTA authorization. Therefore, even children entrusted to legal guardians must apply for ESTA.
Legal guardians or parents applying for authorization on behalf of a minor must meet eligibility requirements. If the minor is not a citizen of any eligible country for the Visa Waiver program, they cannot apply for ESTA even if one of the parents is.
Are ESTA requirements for children the same for adopted minors?
Families with adopted children may have doubts when traveling with them to the United States. But the necessary documents to obtain the visa exemption for adopted children or the procedure to follow to request it are the same in all cases.
Permission to travel with one parent in the United States In cases where the child travels with only one parent, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recommend that the adult traveling with the minor has a letter from the other parent of the child giving consent to the trip. In the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles, brothers or sisters, friends, or in a group, the minor must also have a letter signed by both parents giving authorization.
Authorization for children traveling without parents to the United States Minors have the possibility to travel to another country without either of the parents. However, they may need an authenticated consent letter from both parents. The parents of minors traveling alone in the United States must contact the embassy to answer the eligibility questions.
Understanding ESTA for Minors: FAQ
What is ESTA for minors and why is it necessary?
Meaning of ESTA: The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, is a digital travel authorization required for citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program who wish to travel to the United States. "ESTA for minors" refers to the same authorization process applied for children or infants. No matter the age, everyone traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program is required to have an approved ESTA - even infants who do not occupy a seat.
How does the process of applying for ESTA for minors differ from that for adults?
The process of applying for ESTA for minors, children, or infants is essentially the same as for adults. The application needs to be filled out with the minor's details, including their name, date of birth, passport information, and other necessary data. However, it should be noted that a parent or guardian must submit the application on behalf of the minor.
What documents are required when applying for ESTA for minors?
When applying for ESTA for children or infants, you will need the minor's valid passport from a Visa Waiver Program country. As a parent or guardian, you'll also need to provide your contact details and answer the eligibility questions on behalf of the minor.
Can parents apply for ESTA on behalf of their minor children?
Yes, parents or guardians are required to apply for the ESTA on behalf of their minor children or infants. The application process includes answering eligibility questions, which minors may not be able to do independently.
How long does an ESTA approval last for minors? Does it differ from adults' validity?
An approved ESTA for minors, children, or infants is valid for two years, the same as for adults, or until the minor's passport expires, whichever comes first. However, specific entry conditions, such as changes in criminal record or contagious diseases, can invalidate the ESTA before the two-year mark.
What should I do if the ESTA for my minor child is denied?
If the ESTA application for your minor child or infant is denied, you may apply for a nonimmigrant visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Remember, an ESTA denial doesn't automatically mean a visa will also be denied.
Is there any special consideration or exemption for minors during the ESTA application process?
There is no special consideration or exemption for minors, children, or infants during the ESTA application process. All travelers, regardless of age, are required to have an approved ESTA before travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
What are the common mistakes to avoid when applying for ESTA for minors?
The most common mistakes when applying for ESTA for children or infants include entering incorrect passport information, not renewing the ESTA when the minor's passport is renewed, and not reapplying for a new ESTA if the minor's circumstances change that may affect their eligibility.
Can minors travel to the USA with an approved ESTA without being accompanied by an adult?
While the approved ESTA allows minors to travel to the USA, the airlines and immigration may have different rules. It is always recommended to check with the airline and relevant authorities before sending a minor to travel alone.
How can I renew an ESTA for a minor when it expires? Does the process differ from that of adults?
The Renewal of ESTA for a minor, children, or infants, the process is the same as for adults. A new application must be submitted online. The renewal should be done at least 72 hours before the planned departure to ensure it is processed in time.
Remember, while the information provided is comprehensive and up-to-date, it's always important to verify the details from a trusted source or legal authority as immigration laws and regulations can change.