How long is my application data stored?

ESTA application data remains active for the period of time that the approved ESTA is valid, which is generally two years, or until the traveler s passport expires, whichever comes first. DHS will then maintain this information for an additional year after which it will be archived for twelve years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Once the information is archived, the number of officials with access to it will be further limited. This retention is consistent both with CBP s border search authority and with the border security mission mandated for CBP by Congress. Data linked to active law enforcement lookout records, CBP matches to enforcement activities, and/or investigations or cases, including applications for ESTA that are denied, will remain accessible for the life of the law enforcement activities to which they are related.

DHS has transitioned to a paperless I-94W, therefore the ESTA application data will replace the data that is collected through the paper I-94W. In those instances where ESTA application data is used in lieu of the information collected through the paper I-94W, the ESTA application data will be maintained in accordance with the retention schedule for the I-94W, 75 years.

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