Applicants for B-1 Business Visitor/B-2 Tourist Visa Waivers should be aware that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly objects to an assistant, rather than the actual traveler, completing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) on-line registration for her boss.

Recently, an assistant completed ESTA registrations for two of her bosses using her own e-mail address rather than the e-mail addresses of the two travelers.  Upon arrival in the United States, both travelers were referred to secondary inspection, held for a couple of hours, and informed that while they were being paroled into the United States, in the future, they would be ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program.  One of the travelers returned to the United States a week later, after obtaining an actual B-1/B-2 visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy.  CBP again placed him in secondary inspection and advised him that he would have to go through secondary inspection whenever he enters the United States because of the erroneous ESTA registration.  Takeaway:  Complete the ESTA registration in person.