Generally speaking, it is quite rare that a traveller to the United States needs to make an urgent ESTA application, as the usual processing time for this classic application can take up to 72 hours at most. It is therefore possible to obtain this electronic residence permit in less than 3 days. However, some sites offering this service also allow you to obtain your ESTA in an even shorter time frame thanks to an emergency delivery option. This option allows you to obtain your ESTA within a few hours at most, for an additional fee. However, it is not possible to give any real guarantees regarding the delivery time for urgent applications.
Urgent ESTA application: Key points
- Without an urgent application, the processing time for an ESTA application is 24 hours.
- It is possible to obtain an urgent ESTA within 4 hours by paying an additional fee
- You do not need to justify the urgent character of your ESTA application
- Only certain service providers offer the urgent ESTA request procedure.
How does an online urgent ESTA application work?
The procedure for applying for an emergency ESTA is the same as for a standard ESTA application for the United States. You will have to fill in exactly the same application form as for a traditional application.
The only difference is that you have to tick the emergency option, which will increase the price of your ESTA application and allow you to obtain your authorisation in a much shorter time.
By applying for an ESTA as a rush application, your file will be processed immediately after your form has been validated and, of course, after you have paid the fees by credit card. Note that this option is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can even obtain an ESTA in a hurry at the weekend, on public holidays or at night.
Obtaining an urgent ESTA can be a real advantage if you need to travel to the United States very quickly and you have not had time to prepare a traditional ESTA application.
However, it should be remembered that although you will pay an additional fee to have your ESTA application processed urgently, it is not possible for the service provider to give you a 100% guarantee that you will obtain this travel authorisation within the hour. Processing times by the US border authorities can vary considerably depending on the volume of applications.
Is it possible to speed up the processing of a traditional ESTA application?
If you have already submitted a traditional ESTA application online and would like to have it processed more quickly, you should know that this is not possible. It is not possible to transform a traditional ESTA application into an urgent application after paying the application fee, even if the application was made on another site.
It should also be noted that if you wish to take this step in an attempt to speed up the processing of your application, this may result in an additional delay in the processing of your file.
How can I be sure that I will receive my ESTA authorisation on time?
The best way to ensure that you receive your ESTA before your departure date is to apply online in good time.
Ideally, you should do this as soon as possible, i.e. as soon as you have decided to visit the USA. Remember that once you have obtained an ESTA authorisation, you can travel to the United States for a total of 2 years and you do not need to indicate any specific dates of stay.
By anticipating your future trips to the United States and applying for ESTA in advance, you will automatically have access to this travel authorisation, which will be electronically attached to your passport during these two years. It will therefore no longer be necessary to make an urgent application.
Is there a time limit for sending the ESTA authorisation once the application has been validated?
The good news about the online ESTA application procedure is that you will not have to wait to receive your travel authorisation by post.
As soon as you have received approval from the US authorities for your ESTA travel authorisation, you will receive a simple notification by email and SMS.
You won't have to do anything else or even print the document that will be sent to you as your ESTA will be electronically attached to your passport. All you have to do is present your passport when you board your flight and when you arrive in the country so that it can be checked.
Mistakes to avoid that lengthen the time it takes to process an ESTA application?
Although all websites offering an online ESTA application form guarantee a processing time of at least 72 hours, this time may be extended due to errors made when filling in the form.
A spelling error in your first name or an error in entering your passport number may result in additional checks by immigration officials.
In order to avoid this type of inconvenience, we strongly recommend that you re-read all the answers you have given in the questionnaire before submitting it and paying the fee.
The best way to avoid making the slightest mistake that could delay the processing of your ESTA application is to use the website of a reliable service provider, which will allow you to obtain online help in the event that you are unable to answer any of the items on the form.
This is the case with the service provider we recommend on this page, which offers both assistance in filling in the ESTA application form and an urgent ESTA option.
The different emergency deadlines proposed for ESTA:
ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online system set up for travellers wishing to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme. Travellers can apply for ESTA online and receive a quick response on their eligibility to enter the United States.
On the website of our service provider partner, you can choose between different processing times for your ESTA application. Of course, fees vary according to the processing time, with higher fees for more urgent applications and lower fees for the standard processing time. Here are the details of the processing times and prices for these different options:
- The ESTA is usually processed within 24 hours when you choose standard processing. However, for travellers who need a quicker response, there are urgent and super urgent processing options. The total cost for a standard ESTA is around €40, including a government fee of around €20 and a standard processing fee of around €20.
- If you need faster processing, you can opt for urgent processing, which costs around €60. The government fee is the same as for standard treatment at around €20, but the urgent treatment fee is higher at around €40. With this treatment, you can get a response within 12 hours.
- For travellers who need an even faster response, the super urgent processing option is available. The total cost for this treatment is €80, including the government fee of around €20 and the super urgent treatment fee of around €60. With this treatment, you can get a response in just 4 hours.
In summary, the choice of the ESTA urgency period will depend on your needs in terms of time and costs. If you have the time and prefer to save money, you can opt for standard processing. If you need a quicker response, you can opt for urgent or super urgent processing. It's important to note that costs can vary depending on the service provider you choose, so it's always important to check costs with several providers to find the most cost-effective deal. Prices were raised in August 2023 and are subject to change.
As a web writer and globetrotter with a passion for travel and tourism, I have acquired in-depth knowledge of the procedures that are essential for travellers. I help travellers to complete all the formalities required for a successful trip, particularly when it comes to obtaining a visa online. With several years' experience in this field, I'd like to offer you some valuable advice to help you discover the world with complete peace of mind.