In the midst of the hustle and bustle of preparing for traveling to the USA, you might find yourself losing some important documents that you will require for entry to the US. You have just discovered that you have lost your ESTA document. What should you do after realizing you cannot find your travel document? The first question that comes to mind is probably: should I reapply if I have lost my ESTA document? This article will answer your question by providing you with the procedures to follow in the event that you have lost your travel authorization document. If you want to know more about ESTA, you can also read this article What Is ESTA?
It could be that your definition of “losing” your document simply means not remembering your application number. In that case, all you need to do is retrieve application. If you are using the ESTA USA platform, for example, all you need to do is check your application through their Verify/Check ESTA status page. You will then receive your application with your ESTA number via your email address.
Before panicking about what to do upon realizing you have lost your ESTA document, just remember that the validity of your authorization to travel to the USA is two years from the date of application approval or until expiration of your passport. What this means is that if your travel authorization document was lost while in the USA, you need not panic about reapplying for one while in the USA. As soon as you go back to your country of residence, however, you would need to reapply for one for when you would need to travel to the USA again.
When you need to reapply for your document, you will go through the same steps you took to apply the first time. The electronic authorization process will require you to input your personal details and go through a pre-screening process until you receive a confirmation of your application through your email address. Upon receipt of application, you should print your travel document and keep it on your person.
In some cases, you would need to reapply for a new ESTA authorization. The following instances apply:
• When you have been issued a new passport. This would mean you would need to enter a new application with your new passport details.
• When your ESTA authorization document has expired. It is typically valid for a period of two years from date of first application approval. This also applies when your passport has expired.
• When you have changed your personal particulars, for instance, your name or gender.
• When you have changed your country of citizenship.
In the event that your ESTA authorization has expired it is imperative to apply for a new one. You cannot bank on the fact that you had an existing application. Existing applications cannot be extended, and therefore, you would have to apply for a new document.
The next time you lose your travel document or it expires, don’t panic.