I have a girlfriend coming over from the UK to the US and she’s nervous about how much money she should carry on her for her trip over that is about 2 weeks long.

I of course will offer her a place to stay, food, and everything she needs to survive her stay. Is money still needed? She would have a few bucks on her for an emergency. Can she let the customs officers know that her boyfriend has her covered and be good with that?

  • 1
    Although the information is not for holiday stays with ESTA but perhaps that can give you a ballpark: for a J-1 visa (visiting research scholar) that I was recently applying for I needed to prove that I'm capable of minimum funding of $1700 per month. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 9:36
  • Yeah it’s only two weeks but she will have no need to book hotels or anything of the sort since I will provide her with a place to stay and food for her stay. Would she just have to use my name and phone number and maybe proof of income?
    – Juan
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 9:40
  • As they have already asked the girlfriend for bank statements, well it doesn't really matter how much she needs to have because it's not an option for anyone to send her any money to make it seem that she has more. Therefore, what she has is what she has (which would be proven by the bank statements).
    – kiradotee
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 15:05
  • 4
    Credit cards work in the US. You don't need to carry any money, really.
    – user77454
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 22:47
  • It's two weeks. It's a holiday. Why would they care?
    – Strawberry
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 10:38

2 Answers 2


The ESTA application form does not ask for any information about finances. To quote the CBP help page

What information is needed in order to complete the ESTA application?

The traveler must provide, in English, biographical data including name, birth date and passport information. The traveler also must answer VWP eligibility questions regarding communicable diseases, arrests and convictions for certain crimes, past history of visa revocation or deportation and other questions. The traveler will also need their credit card information to pay the associated fees in order to complete the ESTA application.

A UK national in good standing applying for ESTA for a two week holiday to the USA does not need to have any money at all, beyond the $14 fee for the ESTA itself.

  • She received an email regarding needing a bank statement for proof of funds from officials.
    – Juan
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 10:14
  • 15
    @juan you need to edit the question to include that. I see you've also tagged with standard-visitor-visas, which is a quite different thing from ESTA. What has actually been applied for?
    – AakashM
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 10:35
  • 3
    She may get questioned about finances at the border though. Answer honestly what you have available and why you are going to the states, and that boyfriend will be covering most things.
    – BritishSam
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 11:06
  • 27
    Are you sure that this is an official email from CBP? I have never heard of them asking for additional documents like bank statements for an ESTA application (short google search also didn't turn up any other information about that).
    – dunni
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 16:00
  • 24
    Did she apply for the ESTA on esta.cbp.dhs.gov or somewhere else? There are a lot of imposter sites that are not the official US government one. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 21:01

A few years ago I was seeing an American girl, I was planning to stay for 60 days. When I told the guy at the gate I was coming to see my girlfriend they asked me about how I was funding a long trip. I was a student and I told them honestly I had < 1000 in my current account but I had a credit card with no balance and about 2000 balance available to spend. I might even have told them that the next instalment of my student loan was going in before I left the country (also true).

I told them I was staying with her and they waived me on my way. I didn't get the impression they were after a fixed amount, I think it is a judgement if you seem plausible in your explanation. They didn't even ask me to prove I had the funds that I claimed. My relationship lasted two years and I entered 4 times over the course of it. This was the only occasion they showed any interest in my finances.

Your girlfriend should carry the evidence and make sure her answers tally up if they do ask.

  • 1
    I once lived in the states. Once when I was returning their after visiting family back home, I started to pull out the relevant paperwork, but the staff spotted I had a credit card, and just waved me through. But I guess that was different times.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 17:19

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