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Use of middle name or multiple names in ESTA applications

What is the exact information to use on the ESTA application form?

This is important to get correct because if you make a mistake, you run the risk of getting denied. But don't worry, we will check your information to make sure things like dates, cities and other information is not in error before we process the application. Since we can't see your passport, it is important to enter the information as accurately as you can. If you have any questions, we are available with live chat and email to help. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions

Should the middle name or multiple first names be included in the ESTA application? This is a very common question Visa Waiver Program applicants ask.

Completing the ESTA application requires access to your recent passport. Before going any further, grab your passport and have a close look at the identity page. The exact information on this page must be used on the ESTA application form as a general rule.

There are two important rules to remember when completing the ESTA application:

  • Enter required information as it appears in your passport. If you are unsure, take a look at the information presented in the Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) of your passport. The machine readable area of your passport is located on the bottom portion of your passport personal information page and separated by the chevron symbols (<<<<). 
  • The middle name is not required for the ESTA application. This is not to be confused with multiple first names that appear on your passport.

Special characters used in Surnames or First Names, commonplace in countries outside of the United States, are not readable in the ESTA application. Such characters or symbols must be replaced with English or Latin Characters. Please refer to the machine readable area of your passport for the equivalent nomenclature for your name.

Finally, as a reminder, any changes in biographical data in your passport, requires a new ESTA application. Ensure your ESTA is valid and accurate before departing.

Safe Travels!

Travelling to the United States? Do you have your pre-planning checklist in order? Visit our ESTA Guide for more information about obtaining your travel permit. We'd love to hear from you. Send us your comments or questions for travel assistance.