Could ESTA application be denied?

esta application denied

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online automated system. It is created to evaluate the eligibility of applicants to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

The ESTA grants its holder the authorization to travel to the U.S.

There are a total of 39 countries n the Visa Waiver Program, including Australia and the UK. A typical online application takes about 10 minutes, and a response is usually received almost immediately.

Millions of people travel to the United States every year, and a large number of people must apply online to obtain the ESTA. However, some people have their ESTA denied or rejected. Read further to find out more about the ESTA refusal reasons and how you can avoid getting your ESTA refused.

ESTA refusal for misinterpretation

It is important to notice that an “ESTA Application Pending” status does not imply a rejection nor approval. A “pending” status means the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires more time to review the given application. In such cases, candidates are advised against drawing any irrational conclusions as CBP’s standard policy is to make a decision within 72 hours.

An ESTA application form requires candidates to provide their personal details, answer honestly to all the questions and statements in the application and be from an eligible VWP country. It is important to pay attention to the details you on our ESTA application. An ESTA mistake could cost you the approval of this electronic authorization. All information included on the ESTA should match the details of your passport. Avoid getting your ESTA denied by completing your ESTA application below.

Once the personal data is confirmed, CBP will verify that the applying visitor does not present a threat to the health and safety of American citizens. This is the general ESTA pre-screening process for everyone who wishes to travel to the U.S.

The application process might seem rather simple, however, the CBP background and safety checks are complicated processes, which thoroughly go through every detail of the provided data. In rare cases an ESTA application might be denied. If your ESTA is rejected you can apply for a visitor visa at a US embassy or consulate in your home country.

Most common ESTA refusal reasons:

Though it is rare that an ESTA is refused, it can happen to some applicants. Following are the most common reasons for denying an ESTA application:

  • You gave an untruthful answer to one of the VWP questions.
  • You stayed in the U.S. longer than the specified authorization for your nonimmigrant status on a previous visit.
  • You have been denied entry or a visa to the U.S. in the past.
  • Your current application passport number has already been reported lost or stolen.
  • You engaged in unauthorized employment.

Any errors related to the Visa Waiver Program may be resolved by applying for a nonimmigrant visa instead. This is true for all applicants who are not citizens of a VWP country.

If the reason for the ESTA denial or rejection is an invalid passport number, make another application after obtaining a new valid passport.

Can an ESTA denial decision be appealed?

Note that the VWP questions are used by the U.S. Customs and Border Control to determine whether or not the applicant is required to apply for a visa. However, without paying attention to the details many travelers click “Yes” to VWP questions, without realizing their personal situation is not a disqualifying ESTA factor. Having the flu when making the application does not mean to answer “Yes” to the communicable diseases question. However, such errors are often made, and applicants might be and denied an ESTA for wrongful reasons.

If you believe your application has been rejected for giving a wrong answer to any of the “Yes” or “No” questions, contact CBP by email and explain your error. The rejection of your ESTA might be overturned or you might be able to apply for a new ESTA.

Furthermore, errors such as wrong name-spelling or transposed numbers can lead to a “Trip not authorized” status. Due to such mistakes many applicants prefer the services of qualified immigration specialists, who can review and verify all the provided information is correct, before submitting the ESTA application.

To avoid having your ESTA application denied, consider applying for your ESTA through a specialized qualified travel agency or immigration specialist.

What are the possible solutions in the case of a denied of the ESTA?

If a traveler is denied an ESTA to travel to the United States, and his or her circumstances have not changed, a new ESTA application will not change the ESTA refusal status. If a traveler is not eligible for an ESTA, regardless of the reason, the only possible solution is to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

It is strongly advised not to reapply for an ESTA with false information. This could have a long-term negative impact and entry to the U.S. will become even more difficult by making the traveler permanently ineligible for travel to the United States.

To obtain a nonimmigrant visa you will also need a valid passport, but you will be required to attend an interview at the embassy or consulate.

How to learn the reason for the denial of an ESTA application?

The U.S. government does not inform applicants the reason why an ESTA was denied. However, these are some of the most common reasons for an ESTA denial:

  • On a previous visit to the U.S., the applicant overstayed beyond the time allowed on their visa waiver.
  • On a previous visit to the U.S., the applicant worked without the proper authorization.
  • The applicant previously applied for a visa or visa waiver and was denied entry to the United States.
  • The answers provided on the ESTA application were incorrect, once cross-checked with the US government systems.
  • The applicant provided passport details for a passport reported as lost or stolen, when in fact, the passport was still in the possession of the applicant.
  • The applicant has a criminal record and were found to have a conviction history.
  • The applicant has been victim of identity theft.

If you wish to apply for the ESTA, note that your eligibility alone does not grant you automatic admission to the United States.

Does the refusal of an ESTA enable you to obtain a visa?

The refusal of an ESTA means that if you still wish to visit the United States, you can only do so with a proper visa. An ESTA denial does not necessarily enable you to obtain a visa, it means that you cannot travel with the ESTA and therefore, need to obtain the visa at the embassy or consulate.

If your ESTA was rejected, and you still want to travel to the U.S., you will need to do the necessary paperwork to get a nonimmigrant visa. This includes completing the DS-160 form, paying for the visa fee, and gathering supporting documents that demonstrate your work and family status. When applying for a tourist or business visa at the United States embassy or consulate you will need to prove that you intend to return to your country of origin or country of residence.

Can I make a new ESTA application if my first one was denied?

In the rare cases when an ESTA is denied, applicants must wait for 10 consecutive days starting from the day an answer was received to make a new application.

Please note the U.S. Customs and Border Protection do not provide any explanation as to why ESTA USA has been rejected.

Can I apply for ESTA for USA if I have been previously denied a visa?

If you previously have been denied a visa (no matter the category), have been denied an entry to the United States or have been deported/removed from the U.S., your ESTA application will most probably be rejected.

Receiving a visa denial more often than not means the applicant does not comply with the general ESTA eligibility requirements, which are valid for both visa and ESTA applications.

Take note that you must be completely honest, regarding any previous visa rejections. There will be much harder consequences if you lie during the application process and the department later discovers the truth. Such actions will be considered a fraud and legal action will be taken.

If you have been refused a visa while being citizen of one country and later have changed your citizenship to a country that enters in the Visa Waiver Program, you must answer “Yes” to the “Have you been denied a visa before?” question. This information does not refer to the citizenship you currently have, it refers to your overall visa application process made with any passport you have held and from any country you have applied.

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