I applied and got an ESTA last year I cannot remember whether there was paper work; I cannot find any. Can I visit with just my passport? Same question about the Canada eTA.


Answer for the US ESTA:

Whether you have an ESTA or not will only be checked during the check-in process with your airline. Once you arrived in the US, you do not need to show that you have an ESTA. The immigration authorities can look this up in their computer if necessary.

Many airlines have an automatic process to check for the existence of a valid ESTA registered with your passport details on check-in. Hence, you then do not need to show any printouts or the like. However, not all airlines have this, and hence, it is sometimes necessary to have a print-out of the approval confirmation with you when you travel to the US.

  • It's not dependent on the airline, but the system used by the handling agent. Most use Amadeus AFAIK, which does have this information available – Crazydre Dec 20 '18 at 13:52
  • Unless I'm very mistaken, it's a legal requirement for any airline flying to the US that they do this check electronically. – Doc Dec 23 '18 at 16:41
  • @Doc Well, in that case Aer Lingus violated it for me two weeks ago. The check-in agents told me explicitly that their system can't do this and as a consequence examined the ESTA confirmation printout that I provided quite closely. – DCTLib Dec 23 '18 at 20:27

ESTAs and eTAs are essentially electronic passport registrations; hence, you only need your passport.

A few airport handling agents may not be able to verify your ESTA/eTA, however, in which case you should print the confirmation page (or present it on the phone).

If you want to be sure, you can email the handling agent in advance of your trip.

  • Is it okay to show the confirmation on your phone instead of printing it on a paper? – kiradotee Dec 23 '18 at 15:01
  • @kiradotee Absolutely, and again you shouldn't need even that (but save it just in case) – Crazydre Dec 23 '18 at 15:11

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