I am a Polish citizen living in Germany. In October I will be travelling to the US with my wife. We will be meeting my friend, who is also my business partner. I was in the US before two times, in 2016 and 2020. In 2016 I successfully applied for a B1/B2 visa and I had no problems using it for travel in 2016 and 2020. Poland joined the visa wavier program at some point and now I am not sure if I need to apply for ESTA even if I have the visa? My visa is still valid until 2026, and my passport is valid until 2025. I booked my flight through Delta and their website suggest to apply for ESTA which confuses me a bit. This is what I found on the official US gov website:

Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the United States on that visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on valid visas are not required to apply for an ESTA authorization.


This basically answers my question, but I rather double check the situation than have problems on the border.

Thank you a lot for any help, it's most appreciated!

1 Answer 1


An ESTA is a travel authorisation for travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Since you already have a valid visa, you have no need for a visa waiver to enter the US, therefore you don't need to apply for ESTA.

When your current visa expires in 2026 (it can remain valid past your passport expiry), you can either choose to renew it, or apply for ESTA and travel to the US under the VWP.

  • Thank you very much, that makes sense. Very appreciated!
    – kazy
    Commented May 16 at 8:17
  • This is 100% correct. The ESTA is an alternative to the complication and expense of a visa for those who don't require a visa. If you already have a visa it's (currently) pointless.
    – oldtechaa
    Commented May 16 at 10:10
  • 1
    One note: A valid visa is a non-expired visa that is valid for the type of visit you are doing. For OP this seems to match (they have a temporary business visa for a visit involving business), but for someone finding this in the future this may be relevant.
    – Sumurai8
    Commented May 16 at 23:01

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