A quick search for ESTA application returned many results. According to this page on cbp.gov, the official site to apply for an ESTA is esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

Are the others scams, legitimate third party resellers or "added value" services?

Can anyone confirm either way?

Updated 2020: The above have better "not affiliated with the U.S. Government" warnings now, but beware there are newer more sneaky sites starting all the time:

And fortunately more official guidance about this issue: https://nz.usembassy.gov/be-aware-of-esta-scams/

  • Any value that may be added is so minimal as to be negligible.
    – phoog
    Mar 20, 2017 at 0:45
  • 1
    Also see "Will getting a refund from an ESTA scam site cause me to be blacklisted from the US?" travel.stackexchange.com/q/54038/32207
    – KCD
    May 29, 2018 at 21:16
  • From the sites that you've given, the first one now links to the official application site. The others charge an $88 fee, instead of the $14, for "professional review". Which in the best case this means means "we collect the exact same information than the official form, and submit it to the government for just $74". Don't fall for it.
    – averell
    Nov 11, 2018 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


It is legal for a third party web site to accept an ESTA application from you and submit it on your behalf.

However, you may be charged more than the statutory $14 you would be charged at the official page. You may also have visited a fake web site, and there is no good way to determine in advance if the site will really submit the application for you or not.

It's best, then, to always go to the official ESTA web site to apply or update your information. Note that virtually all U.S. government web sites have a domain ending in .gov.

Of course, it is illegal under US law for a site to take your money and not submit the ESTA application. CBP recommends that, if this has happened to you, that you dispute the charges with your bank or credit card issuer.

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