For visa-free travel to the USA, the electronic travel authorization ESTA is required. We explain the prices for different ESTA options, where you can save the most, and what rights you have with ESTA in the United States.
The cost of an ESTA application is currently $ 21 for the simplest option and an average of € 50 for an application handled by an ESTA agency with additional securities. The ESTA fee consists of two parts:
The processing fee varies in its amount, depending on the service provided. On the official website of the US government, you pay $ 17 for the basic processing of your application without additional checks and securities. The approval fee is always $ 4.
With your ESTA approval, you may enter the USA for tourist or business purposes multiple times within the 2-year ESTA validity period for up to 90 days without applying for a visa.
In addition to the $ 21 for the simplest application without extra services, additional costs may arise for an ESTA application. These are as follows:
In total, you should not pay an ESTA fee that exceeds € 70. If you use additional services, pay attention to the total cost and compare prices.
The main differences between an ESTA and a visa for entry into the USA are, in addition to the speed and ease of the ESTA process, primarily the low application costs. While you can get the simplest ESTA option for $ 21, a US visa costs $ 160 and up. The visa application at US embassies and consulates can also include additional costs.
These additional costs are incurred, for example, by needing passport photos and proof documents that should demonstrate your eligibility for the visa. These include, among other things, certified translations of documents, testimonials, or contracts.
If you discover an error in the passport data or biographical information shortly after submitting your ESTA application, you can still submit a new application to prevent ESTA rejection. However, you will have to pay the ESTA fee twice.
For minor corrections, such as typing errors in addresses or the incorrect answer to one of the ESTA security questions, you can change your information or ask your agency to make the changes for you before approval.
A fee may be charged for subsequent changes. However, an ESTA agency will not generally charge you the full ESTA fee twice but only a small service fee for the additional effort.
You can pay for an ESTA application not only in US dollars but also in euros. On the official website of the US government, you can pay your ESTA bill with a credit card or PayPal, while reputable ESTA agencies have much more extensive payment options. These include:
The ESTA system of the US government currently accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club) as credit or debit cards.
In case of rejection of your ESTA application, you will only pay the operational fee of $ 4 from the US government. If you have booked a service package with a money-back guarantee from an ESTA agency, they will provide a full refund of the invoice amount in the rare case of rejection due to an application error.
Check the specific conditions with your provider before submitting your ESTA application. In any case, additional fees charged by your credit/debit card company or PayPal for the transaction will not be refunded.
Do you have any other questions about ESTA costs? You will likely find the answer in our ESTA cost FAQ:
On the US government website, you can pay the ESTA fee within seven days after submitting the application. After seven days, you will need to submit a new application.
The cost for an ESTA application is independent of the traveler's age. Therefore, an ESTA for children costs the same as an ESTA for adults. The same applies to ESTA for seniors, ESTA for students, or ESTA for families: each ESTA application costs the same.
The ESTA fee is not charged per entry but only once for the entire validity period of two years.
The official ESTA fee was increased from $ 14 to $ 21 in 2022. The US Congress has done this based on the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 (PL 116-94).