USA: Common Evisa Application Mistakes for New Zealanders

The United States of America has always enjoyed a friendly relationship with New Zealand, and many New Zealanders look forward to visiting the land of opportunity whether for tourism, business or educational purposes. The US offers a diverse array of attractions ranging from the vibrant streets of New York City to the serene landscapes of the Grand Canyon. As a New Zealander, you have the privilege of applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which makes it easier to travel to the US for short visits. Nonetheless, applying for a US visa, in this case, an ESTA, comes with its own set of challenges, and mistakes can happen. Awareness is key to avoid common application errors that might hinder your travel plans.

Before delving into the ESTA application process, it’s worth soaking in the anticipation of your upcoming adventure in the US. Imagine strolling through the streets of San Francisco, marveling at the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, or taking a boat tour in Chicago. Each city has its own unique charm and cultural nuances. Understanding these multicultural aspects could enrich your travel experience. Now, let’s look at how to secure your travel authorisation without any hitches.

When applying for an ESTA, it is crucial to avoid missteps that could lead to delays or denials. We’ve compiled a list of common mistakes so you can navigate the application process smoothly.

Accurate Personal Information

One of the most frequent mistakes involves entering incorrect personal details. Ensure that your name, date of birth, and passport information are exactly as they appear on your passport. Any discrepancies could lead to a denial of your ESTA.

Passport Validity Concerns

Always check the validity of your passport before you apply here for an ESTA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.

Overlooking Double Check

It’s easy to overlook the importance of double-checking your application. Review all your answers for potential errors before submission to ensure accuracy.

Misinterpretation of Questions

Answer all questions honestly and carefully. Misinterpreting a question could result in incorrect answers, which may be seen as misrepresentation.

Payment Issues

Payment issues can arise if you don’t use an accepted payment method or if there are insufficient funds. We accept all payment types, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Credit Card.

One may also fail to confirm the payment, which is the final step of the application process. Make sure to complete this step to process your application successfully.

Compliance with ESTA Regulations

Following the correct procedures and regulations is crucial. An ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first, and it allows for stays of up to 90 days. Ensure you comply with the terms of your visit.

If you realise you’ve made a mistake after submitting your ESTA application, you may need to reapply depending on the nature of the error. Some information, like email address or your address in the US, can be changed after approval, but for incorrect biographical data or passport information, a new application is necessary.

To avoid these common issues, here are the steps you should follow when applying for your ESTA:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72 hours. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.


What if my passport expires after I’ve received my ESTA?

Your ESTA becomes invalid once your passport expires. You will need to apply for a new ESTA if you get a new passport, even if the old ESTA is still valid.

Can I extend my stay in the US with an ESTA?

No, you cannot extend your stay beyond 90 days under the ESTA, and you should not overstay your authorised period of stay.

Do I need to print my ESTA?

It’s recommended to have a printed copy of your ESTA with you during travel, although it’s not mandatory as your ESTA is electronically linked to your passport.

What if I make a mistake on my ESTA application after payment?

If the mistake is on a non-critical detail, you may update it after approval. For critical information, you will need to submit a new application.

Can I apply for an ESTA if I’ve been denied a US visa before?

If you’ve been denied a visa before, you may still apply for an ESTA, but the denial may affect the approval of your ESTA.


Your journey to the United States should be filled with excitement, not stress. By sidestepping these common pitfalls, you can streamline your ESTA application process and focus on planning your US itinerary. Keep these tips in mind, and approach your application with care to ensure a positive outcome. Travel smart and enjoy the adventures that await you in the United States.

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