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I'm a EU citizen living in Canada. I'm taking a road trip to the US next week. According to the CBP website, I don't need to renew my ESTA to do so.

In hopes of slightly accelerating the paperwork at the border, I just tried to fill out and pay for the I94 form ahead of time. However, the slick new online form doesn't let me do so, because I don't have a valid ESTA anymore.

Given that ESTA is a transparent money grab rather than a security measure (of the $14 fee, $10 goes to fund tourism ads and $4 goes to fund CBP), this seems like CBP is actively trying to con visitors into paying for something they don't need. Am I missing something?

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    FYI, you don't save much time by doing it in advance: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/109203/… – JonathanReez Supports Monica Sep 19 at 4:08
  • I know, but it's such a hassle every time that even saving five minutes would be nice ... – sebastian_k Sep 19 at 4:12
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    How can you fill out this form without a visa? If i select passport as document, all the visa fields are required. VWP applicants don't have that information. So to me it seems that you don't need an ESTA, but you just can't use this form as VWP traveller. – dunni Sep 19 at 8:36
  • @dunni: It seems that if you select a VWP country as the passport country of issuance, the visa fields become optional – user102008 Sep 19 at 16:50
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    @Midavalo I crossed the border this morning (as I've done many times before) and filled out the paper I94 as usual. Nobody said anything about ESTA. – sebastian_k Sep 20 at 1:25

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