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CBP Announces Additional Enhancements to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Release Date: 
June 17, 2016

WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today announced the addition of questions to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application, as part of the continued implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (the Act).

The changes being implemented today add questions to the ESTA form in support of the eligibility requirement for travel under the VWP.  Pursuant to the Secretary of Homeland Security’s announcement in February 2016 naming Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as countries of concern, nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries who have been present in these three countries at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions) are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP, absent a waiver issued in the law enforcement or national security interest of the United States.  Individuals who are no longer eligible for travel under VWP may still apply for a visa at U.S. embassies or consulates. 

In addition to the country-specific travel restrictions, the ESTA application has been further enhanced to include a request for ESTA applicants’ Global Entry Program Numbers, if applicable.  This additional information can be used in adjudicating the traveler’s application for an ESTA.  

Current ESTA holders should check their ESTA status prior to travel on CBP’s website,  If a traveler needs to speak to someone immediately, he or she may contact the CBP Information Center, or their closest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Information on visa applications can be found at

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021