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How long is the ESTA valid for?

After 90 days, your travel authorization in the USA is no longer valid.

The United States is very strict when it comes to overstaying stays and is particularly uncompromising towards those they catch in the act. You obtained a travel authorization in the USA? So, make sure that you never exceed the duration of your ESTA.

If your document is no longer valid, even after 24 hours, you will be treated as an outlaw on American soil and you will suffer all the consequences.

How long is the ESTA valid for?

The ESTA is valid for two years from the day you get it. Two years during which you can come and go to the United States until you have exhausted your right of residence. ESTA gives you 90 days on American soil. If you exhaust these 90 days prior to the expiry date of your authorization, you will need to apply for a new one.

But to do so, you will first have to leave the United States, because it is forbidden to ask for it while you are on American soil. If you have not exhausted your right of residence and your ESTA expires, you will also be obliged to leave the US to file a new application.

What happens if the duration of your stay is exceeded?

Exceeding your stay in the United States can have serious consequences, as it seriously jeopardizes your future stays in the country. From the most serious to the most severe, here are the penalties you incur:

  • You will no longer be able to benefit from ESTA. The VISA waiver program is considered a bargain. By exceeding your right of residence, you will be found guilty of “abuse”, so you will no longer have the right to apply for a travel authorization. In fact, when you next request ESTA, you will have to answer “Yes” to the question about an over-delivery on a previous trip.
    By answering Yes, your ESTA authorization will be automatically refused. If for professional reasons, you are obliged to return to the United States, you will need to apply for a B2 Tourism VISA, which, we remind you, is subject to a fee and requires travel to the U. S. Embassy.
  • As soon as you exceed your right of residence, even if only for one day, you will become an "illegal immigrant" and have to bear all that this status implies: deportation, visa denial, etc.

The severity of the penalties imposed against you will depend on how long it takes you to overrun. It is possible that in the future, if you wish to return to the United States, obtaining a VISA may be very complicated. So, it is very important to follow the rules!

What to do if the duration of your ESTA is exceeded?

Trying to extend your stay by renewing your travel authorization on the spot is not recommended, as this is impossible and will only aggravate your case. The best thing to do, in your case, is to get out of the country as quickly as possible! Don't linger too long!

It's in your best interest to have a valid reason to stay on American soil longer than you should. Once the immigration service has identified you, you will certainly be subject to an investigation and you will have to prove that this overrunning of your stay is not calculated, and that it happened regardless of your will. Please do not store any compromising data on your mobile phone, as in the event of an overrun of your stay, nothing belonging to you will be considered as "private property."

Your computer will inevitably be searched and no evidence that you are trying to illegally settle in the USA should be found.

If you have been delayed for a valid reason, while on U. S. soil, in addition to your papers, keep it at hand. A certificate of hospitalization, for example, if you have been admitted to an emergency hospital, a medical certificate if your medical condition did not allow you to travel on the scheduled date.

If the overrun is due to a political reason, you will need to check with Homeland Security well in advance of your arrival in the United States.

How to check that your travel authorization is valid?

Don't make a mistake in the step, note the expiry date of your ESTA and plan your departure at least one day in advance to avoid any unexpected circumstances. If you suspect that a 90-day stay may not be enough for what you have to do in the United States, forget about ESTA and ask for a VISA instead. With the latter, you will be able to benefit from a longer stay, which you can extend if necessary.

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