Why is my ESTA application pending?

In most cases, travelers will receive an almost immediate response to their ESTA application.

There are 3 types of possible responses:

  • Authorization Approved.
  • Authorization Pending.
  • Travel not Authorized.

If your ESTA application has been approved, you are authorized to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

My ESTA application is on Pending Status

If an ESTA application is pending, it simply means that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reviewing the information you provided on your form.

The ESTA authorization pending status does not usually last over 72 hours. The traveler will generally be notified of the final decision of your application within this period.

If the current status is “Authorization Pending” after completing the online ESTA form, please wait a couple of hours, refresh the page and check the status again.

In rare cases, the status “No application found” may appear after an ESTA pending status. If this is the case, the application has not been made successfully. In this situation, it is necessary to start a new application.

“Travel not Authorized” is another possible response for unsuccessful applications. In this case, the individual may have to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist or business visa.

Reasons for the ESTA authorization pending

If you have applied for the ESTA visa waiver and the status of the application is pending, this simply means that your ESTA is under review.

The main reason for an ESTA pending authorization is that the US Customs and Border Protection is reviewing the application. Some are approved within minutes and others take longer.

Small errors and inconsistencies can cause delays or even rejections of ESTA applications.

When completing the ESTA application form it’s very important to:

  • Complete each section with accurate information.
  • Double-check that the passport number is correct.
  • Respond to security questions accurately and honestly.
  • Provide a valid email address and payment method.

ESTA Under Review

When an ESTA is under review, it simply means that the information provided on the application is being verified. The purpose of the ESTA is to screen travelers in order to contribute to the security of the US external borders.

All ESTA applications are checked against international databases to verify the identity of the traveler and check that the passport hasn’t been reported stolen or lost. In certain cases, the CBP may need to spend more time reviewing an ESTA application.

Individuals who have completed their application with accurate information, following the instructions, an ESTA pending status should not be cause for alarm. It can take up to 72 hours, and possibly longer on rare occasions, to approve an application.

What if my pending ESTA application is denied?

In the rare case that an ESTA application is denied, it is possible to reapply, ensuring that all the details entered are correct. Even small errors can cause an application to be rejected.

If the information entered is accurate and the traveler’s ESTA application has been denied multiple times, they may apply for a different type of US visa.

The visitor visa for the USA can be obtained by applying at an embassy or consulate. This will either be a B1 (business) visa, a B2 (tourist) visa, or a combined B1/B2 visa. A valid passport will be needed, along with other supporting documents.

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