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ESTA-Antrag bei der Gruppenreise in die USA, Bild: Zarya Maxim Alexandrovich / shutterstock

Group trip to the USA

One of the holiday trends of recent years is group travel. It is the ideal way to explore the world either together with friends or as a solo traveler. After all, there is a lot to explore on holiday – so it’s nice to find people to talk to in the evening with whom you can exchange ideas about what you have experienced.

Hardly any other country has as many sights to offer as the United States of America. Whether metropolises like New York or San Francisco or the impressive natural highlights and national parks.

However, you need an entry permit to enter the USA. With an ESTA group application , the complete registration for the entire travel group can be completed quickly. This is also a great time saver for companies that want to send a higher number of employees to the States for a meeting.

The ESTA application is also ideal for vacationers who only have a short stay in the USA and want to travel on to Mexico the following day, for example. So you can spend the time outside the airport in the evening.

We have summarized the most important questions about the ESTA application:

What is ESTA?

San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, Image: Travel Stock / shutterstock

The abbreviation “ESTA” means “Electronic System for Travel Authorization” and is the electronic travel authorization system of the Department of Homeland Security of the USA. It was introduced to improve security screening for travelers to the United States from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Since 2008, ESTA has been the alternative to the time-consuming US visa application.

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With this travel authorization system, travelers from Germany can apply for entry. In addition to German citizens, residents of the following countries can also apply: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and Hungary.

How long do you stay in the USA with an ESTA authorization?

With the ESTA authorization, a stay of up to 90 days in the USA is possible.

What is required for the ESTA application and what are the requirements for the traveler?

  • Completed application form (request for personal data such as full name, address, dates of birth)
  • A current and valid passport
  • Credit card to pay the fees
  • Sufficient financial resources to finance travel, stay and departure
  • The trip to the USA must be for tourism or business reasons
  • Entry must be made by an approved means of transport (arrival e.g. by flight or ship).

How long do you stay in the USA with an ESTA authorization?

With the ESTA authorization, a stay of up to 90 days in the USA is possible.

How do I apply for an ESTA group?

The application can be made either through the Department of Homeland Security or through an ESTA service provider. As a group, you appoint a group manager in advance. This is the direct contact person and takes care of the entire process (for example, an organizer of a group trip). In order to apply, the group administrator will need the passport details of all travelers and a credit card to pay the fees. Within one application, a residence permit can be issued for up to 50 people.

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How much lead time do I have to consider when applying for an ESTA?

For both individual and group applications, a processing time of approx. 72 hours must be planned. Experience has shown that the stress factor is high before the start of the holiday, which is why it is advisable to apply early.

How much does an ESTA group application cost?

The fees per person are $14, which is currently just under 13 euros (current exchange rate).

If the ESTA application is approved, nothing stands in the way of your vacation in the land of unlimited opportunities.