What documents are needed to travel to the United States from Spain?

What documents are needed to travel to the United States from Spain?


The United States is one of the most visited countries in the world, whether for tourism, family visits, business or study. It can be said that every traveler spends some time in his life here, mainly in New York, his most visited city. Perhaps now it is your turn to do it and you are looking for information on what to see and do, what documentation you need, how to request the ESTA, what to bring in your suitcase, what they will ask you at customs …

In this post we are going to focus on the documents to travel to the United States from Spain, Whether you are traveling to visit the country, or if you are just going to make a plane stop, you will have to take into account some important things.

So let’s see what they are!

The 2 mandatory documents to travel from Spain to the United States

You will have to take into account two mandatory documents that you must also obtain in advance: have a valid passport and apply for ESTA for the United States.

On the other hand, you may need other recommended but not mandatory documentation: travel insurance, driving license, traveler registration, special permits (for the press, to study …), etc.

Therefore, below we see in detail the requirements to travel to the United States from Spain as a tourist:


Being a Spanish citizen, for any destination outside the European Union to which you travel, you will need to present your passport. This must be in force, and depending on the destination, they will require a minimum validity of one month, three months, six months … from the day you start your trip.

But in the case of the United States, there is an agreement called Six-Month Club, whereby certain countries only require validity in the passport for the duration of their trip, no more.

In this list are countries such as Spain, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Thailand, Switzerland …

Therefore, just check that your Spanish passport is valid enough for your stay in the United States (we recommend leaving a margin in case something unforeseen occurs) and, of course, don’t forget to put it in your suitcase!

2. ESTA Permit for the United States

What is ESTA? Maybe it doesn’t sound like anything to you or maybe you already know it but you have some doubts about its processing.

Spain belongs to the Visa Waiver Program, for which it is not necessary to obtain a visa for our entry into the US, but on the contrary, a permit called ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) or in Spanish is required , “Electronic System for Travel Authorization”.

So it’s about the other of the two documents necessary to travel to the United States from Spain, and without it you will not be able to enter the country to do tourism (either by plane or boat), business or even to make a short stop at the airport. This also includes minors.

As additional information, if you would like to travel from Spain to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, you will also need this document.

So now new doubts will arise …

How to apply for ESTA from Spain?

An ESTA is a mandatory electronic travel permit to travel to the United States without a visa. Apply for ESTA for the United States It’s quick and easy with the online form, available 24 hours a day and it won’t take more than five minutes.

Even if you are several travelers, you can submit a group request in the same form.

Once paid and when it is approved, it will be confirmed by email and text message. In case you have requested it as urgent, you can have it in an hour on average.

However, it is advisable to request it as soon as you know that you are traveling to the United States, since it will have to include your date of entry into the country, even if you do not yet have accommodation.

How long does the ESTA last?

An ESTA is valid for two years from the time of its approval. So taking into account that each stay can last a maximum of 90 days, during these two years you can make as many trips as you want to this country.

It is also important that you know that if the passport with which you have applied for expires, your ESTA document also expires.

When do you not need to apply for ESTA?

In short, you will not need to apply for the ESTA permit only if you enter the United States by land or if you have an American visa or passport.

This procedure allows to control all travelers in advance, and exclude unwanted people.

Finally, it will not be enough to have a valid passport and ESTA in cases of wanting to work for a US company, do journalistic activities, invest in US companies or study in the US. USA In these cases, we recommend that you inform yourself of what other permissions or documents you need.

Other documents and procedures for your trip to the United States

In addition to these two documents to travel to the United States from SpainDepending on your type of trip, priorities and what you plan to do on your stay, the following documents or procedures are recommended, but not mandatory:

  • Travel insurance: As you know, healthcare in the US has very high costs, so hiring travel insurance that suits the activities you are going to do there, can take more of a worry out of your head. In addition, you can have some guarantees on the loss of luggage, flight cancellation …
  • International Driving Permit: in principle, with a valid Spanish driving license it should be enough to be able to drive in the US, but on certain occasions, depending on the State you are traveling to, according to the company you rent a car with, or if you have an accident, it will be advisable to have an international Driving Permit. You can request this at the Traffic offices where you reside, it has a cost of about € 10 and a validity of 1 year.
  • Register of travelers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: you can sign up here so that all your personal and travel data are recorded so that you can be contacted in case of a serious emergency.
  • Credit card: We recommend you get a wallet card, which you can use abroad without paying commissions. Likewise, you can also change some dollars already from Spain.
  • Vaccines: No vaccination is mandatory to travel to the United States, but it is recommended to have updated the vaccination schedule for Spain.

So knowing what a Spanish needs to travel to the United States, a valid passport and ESTA visa, start organizing your trip and packing your suitcase 🙂