Changes to ESTA Approval for travel to USA and Territories

interCaribbean Airways advises all customers traveling to and from San Juan and any US points to take note of signficant changes to the ESTA visa approval system for passport holders of eligible countries. The below information from CBP is self explanatory. Holders of a current ESTA are unaffected. New applicants must consider and apply right away for an ESTA approval with the recommendation of a minimum of 72 hours prior to avoid travel delay or denials.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a news release related to changes in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application processing.


U.S. CBP, consistent with existing requirements, reminds international travelers using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for travel to the United States to apply as soon as possible but not less than 72 hours before their international flight is scheduled to depart.

Due to changes in ESTA application processing, real-time approvals will no longer be available. Citizens of participating Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries traveling to the United States are strongly encouraged to apply for an ESTA at the time of booking their trip and no later than 72 hours prior to departure. Applicants who apply on the same day of their flight’s departure risk not having an approved ESTA prior to their scheduled departure.  International travelers without an approved ESTA will not be authorized to board their flight.

For more information, please refer to the following links :

  1. Public impact statement regarding the National Vetting Center (NVC):
  2. NVC website:
  3. ESTA Fact sheet:
  4. ESTA News Release:
  5. Carrier Liaison Program (CLP) Bulletin: Please See Attached