Key points on visa requirements for German citizens

4 years


ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA is an electronic application program developed by the Government of the United States to pre-screen travelers before being permitted to board an airplane or ship bound for the United States. German people will be required to apply for an ESTA. In 1989 Germany joined the Visa Waiver Scheme. Germany is one of the active participants in the VWP. The ESTA allows German citizens to enter the USA for the purposes of travel, business, transit, medical and short study without a visa for up to 90 days per entry. ESTA visa requirements for German citizens are a German passport, which must include a digital chip with the passport holder’s digital photograph. This digital chip carries specific passport holder identifiers. There must also be a designated readable area in the personal information section. 

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What is an ESTA stands for?

ESTA does stand for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA is an online application system developed by the USA government to pre-screen travelers before they can board an airplane or ship to the U.S. Any person entering the United States under the visa waiver system will be required to hold an authorized ESTA commencing on January 12, 2009. Foreign nationals not qualifying for ESTA or refused an ESTA may need to apply for a US visa.

What are the benefits of the ESTA system?

  • Useful for multiple entries.
  • Online desktop or smartphone application.
  • ESTA is valid for two years or the passport expiry date, whichever may be earlier.
  • Decisions on ESTA applications are generally made instantly.

Can German citizens apply for an ESTA application?

German people can apply for a visa waiver from the ESTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation System) to travel to the United States. The ESTA permits German citizens to enter the U.S. without a visa for up to 90 days per visit for travel, business, transit, medical, and short-term study purposes. In 1989 Germany was accepted into the Visa Waiver System. However, security measures, designed to counter terrorist threats, required travelers to be pre-screened prior to their arrival in the US.

What’re the visa requirements for German citizens to apply to an ESTA? 

Passport Requirements – Only electronic passports (e-passports) are valid for visa-free travel as of April 1, 2016. 

  • Children’s passports (Kinderreisepass), if provided or extended before or on October 26, 2006, are eligible for the Visa Waiver System (ESTA). The document must then also fulfill standard eligibility criteria for the Visa Waiver System (ESTA) in that it is an e-passport, machine-readable, and contains a bearer’s digital photograph embedded into the biographical data page. Passports issued for children or extended after October 26, 2006, need a travel visa.
  • Before traveling to the US, you will apply for your ESTA. You will obtain a response within minutes of submitting, while 72 hours may be needed for further processing for a small percentage of applicants.
  • German Citizens entering by air or sea in the United States must carry a return ticket to their home country or an onward ticket to another non-US nation. When traveling with an electronic ticket, you must bring a copy of the itinerary at the port of entry for presentation to US immigration. 
  • German nationals entering the United States by land from Canada or Mexico must have a completed I-94W form in their possession. CBP authorities typically include the I-94W at a US port of entry.
  • If you are transiting the USA to a destination in Canada, Mexico, or the neighboring islands, you may re-enter the United States on the return journey using any mode of transportation, provided that the total visit, including both transit and Canada, Mexico, or the neighboring islands, does not exceed 90 days.
  • If you are transiting outside of Canada, Mexico, or the neighboring islands, the return trip will be on a participating carrier, although it does not need to be within 90 days, because you would be able to request a new admission form.
  • A separate ESTA application is required per traveler, infant, teenager, or adult.

Why is the information related to my employer?

Your work details help to determine that you do not intend to reach the United States as a refugee and provides proof of your desire to return to your home country.

When is the right time to request a travel authorization application for German citizens?

An application for a travel authorization should be submitted weeks or months before the travel date. Applications are authorized sometime before moving to the U.S., and once approved, a 2-year authorization or passport expiry period, whichever comes first, will last.

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How can a German citizen apply for an ESTA?

It is quite simple to complete the request. Please follow the below steps carefully:

  1. Choose the departure and arrival country, select the required visa type, enter your name, and click ‘CLICK TO START.’
  2. Verify the visa fee and terms and conditions on the next page.
  3. On the third page, enter your basic details in the respective field and upload the necessary documents (you can upload the documents in a later stage also).
  4. After that, verify and confirm your form details, then proceed with the payment. We support all types of cards for payment.
  5. You will receive the invoice and a confirmation mail with a link in your registered email id.
  6. Click the link and complete the remaining form (you can also upload the document in this stage) and submit it for processing.
  7. Once the evisa is approved, click2visas will send your visa to your email in PDF format.

Will I have to take along a scanned version of my travel authorization to give at the airport?

Your travel authorization does not need to be printed out as the system is completely electronic, and your air or sea carrier would be able to access your DHS ESTA status information. Printing a copy of your approved authorization might be a good idea to have documentation on hand and keep a record of your application number.

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