Reasons for rejection of an ESTA application, and what to do when it is rejected | ESTA Online Center (2023)

Reasons for rejection of an ESTA application, and what to do when it is rejected


Reasons for rejection of an ESTA application, and what to do when it is rejected | ESTA Online Center (1)

In case your ESTA status has turned out to be “Travel not authorized”
Reasons for rejection of an ESTA application, and what to do when it is rejected

First, check the reason for rejection of the application. It is important to know the details of the content since correspondence differs depending on the reasons for rejection. Normally, an ESTA application will be authorized fairly quickly unless there are any problems. Even if the application status became “Travel authorization pending”, it is only for temporary and it will be authorized most of the cases. However, if it is judged as any problems with the application, status becomes “travel authorization rejected” and traveling with ESTA will not be permitted. Listed below are most common reasons of rejection for those who were rejected. See if you are eligible re-applying for ESTA otherwise consider applying for VISA. A VISA application is under the control of an embassy in Japan or the consulate general nearby your location.

Reasons for rejection of an ESTA application

First, check the reason for rejection of the application. It is very important to know the reason so that you will know how to deal with it, since the way to respond to a rejected application differs depending on the reasons. Normally, an ESTA application will be authorized fairly quickly unless there are any problems, and even if it is pending for a while, it will be authorized later. However, if it is judged that there are any problems with the application then it will be rejected.
The most common reason is checking a “Yes” when answering any of the questions on the application.
The questions on the ESTA application are intended to keep out travelers who could pose a threat to the U.S., by checking on applicant’s past medical histories, arrest histories, and criminal records. In most cases, answering “Yes” to even one of these questions will result in an application being rejected.
In not a few cases, an application may be rejected if the applicant accidentally clicked “Yes” on a question that he or she intended to answer “No.” It is of utmost importance to check closely for any incorrect or mistaken information when applying for ESTA.

The most common reasons for rejection of ESTA application

  • Selected “Yes” to even 1 questionnaire out of 9.
  • Had serious criminal records in the past and convicted, therefore under an appeal or discussion.
  • In the past, applied for VISA or ESTA and it had been rejected.
  • In the past, overstayed when visited the US.
  • In the past, worked without required VISA and pointed out from authorities when visited the US.
  • In the past, rejected the entry to the US for some reasons.
  • In the past, deported for some reasons after staying the US.
  • Lost passport in the past, but found it after reported of the loss of an article therefore it was not reissued and have been used after all.
  • Having exactly the same first and last name with the serious criminal or internationally wanted person.

Note that if you select “Yes” to even one of the questionnaires, traveling to the US by ESTA would not be authorized. However, if you select “Yes” by mistake, you can re-apply. Select correct answer this time and re-apply for ESTA.
The questionnaires on the ESTA application are intended to keep out travelers who could pose a threat to the US, by checking on applicant’s past arrest histories and criminal records. If your status became “Travel authorization rejected”, check if there is any mistake for entered information and/or selected items.

How to check the content of your application

Check the U.S. government’s official ESTA website to see if there was any mistake in the entries to your ESTA application.
On the U.S. government’s official ESTA website, you can check the content of your application at any time.
Access the homepage of the official ESTA website and then click on “Check Individual Status” on the right-hand side of the page. By entering your application number, date of birth, and passport number, you can check the details of your application in real time.

(Video) How to Fill Out the ESTA Form for The USA I STEP BY STEP I 2022 I Made Simple I US Visa

Steps for checking on your application are described below.

Access the homepage of the official ESTA website
Click on “Check Individual Status” on the right-hand center of the page and enter your application number, date of birth, and passport number (if you do not know your application number, enter your passport number, passport date of issue, passport expiration date, date of birth, and nationality) and then click “Retrieve Application”
Your application’s current status will be displayed. Click on “Confirm” at right.
Check to make sure that you answered “No” to all questions shown

If your ESTA application has been rejected, first use the steps above to check for any mistakes in the content of your application. After confirming the reason for rejection, proceed to address the rejection depending on that reason.

Two cases are described below

1.If you accidentally clicked a “Yes” to a questionContact U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to correct the application
2. If you answered “No” to all questions and cannot identify any mistakes in your entriesYou cannot travel to the U.S. using ESTA. Therefore, apply for a visa from a U.S. embassy.
(Video) What to do if your US visa gets rejected?

We recommend responding through the steps described below after confirming the details of your situation.

1. If you accidentally clicked a “Yes” to a question

There is no way to cancel your entry immediately once you have completed it. Wait at least 24 hours and then apply again.
Although you will have to pay the costs of application again when reapplying, you can replace the content of your previous application. However, in some cases it is not possible to modify or correct information entered before. If your application is rejected even after applying again, you may contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and correct the application content by informing them that there was a mistake in the content of your application to be corrected.

2. If you answered “No” to all questions and cannot identify any mistakes in your entries

In this case, for some reasons some information of the U.S. government has been recorded by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that would lead to rejection of your application for travel authorization. Since it is not possible to request CBP to correct such information, you are required to apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy.
* To travel to the U.S. on business, apply for a B1 visa
* To travel to the U.S. for sightseeing, apply for a B2 visa
Both B1 and B2 visas are referred to as “B visas” below.

Back to the ESTA application homepage

(Video) Avoid/Overcome the 214(b) USA Visa Rejection

Necessary things to apply for a B visa at a U.S. embassy

Prepare online application DS-160 from the U.S. embassy website
Make payment of the application fee through the U.S. embassy’s online payment system (be sure to make a copy of the receipt number)
Make an interview appointment online through the U.S. embassy website
Prepare the necessary documents and go to the interview at the date and time of your appointment
Your passport will be returned, with the visa affixed, about one week after the interview

The necessary documents for applying at the embassy are described below.
* Check the U.S. embassy website prior to applying, since the necessary documents may vary with individual conditions.

Necessary documents to apply for a B visa

  • Original passport (must have at least six months remaining in its period of validity, including the planned period of stay in the U.S.)
  • Any previous passports issued within the past 10 years
  • Family register
  • Photograph for application (5 x 5 cm, taken within the past six months)
  • Confirmation form of online Application DS-160
  • Receipt that proves your payment of the visa application fee (issued with the interview appointment confirmation when paying by credit card)
  • Interview appointment confirmation form for your interview appointment
  • Documents certifying your current employer, school, etc.
  • Documents such as a bank account balance certificate, certifying your current financial status
  • Documents such as salary details or a tax withholding certificate showing your income
  • Documents such as hotel reservation confirmation, travel itinerary, or airline tickets, showing your travel plans
  • Documents showing that you have been refused entry or refused a visa in the past, if applicable
  • Documents describing your criminal record, if you have an arrest history or a criminal record
  • Documents such as a reentry permit, certificate of residence, or alien registration certificate if you are a foreign national

What could be the reason for refusal of entry to the U.S.?

The U.S. government places great importance on preventing entry by travelers planning to stay in the U.S. for improper reasons, such as unlawful residence or unlawful employment. This is why it established the ESTA program. As noted above, the items checked on ESTA applications are becoming increasingly strict over time. For this reason, travelers need to demonstrate that their presence will be beneficial, and not harmful, to the U.S.
The ESTA application includes a wide range of questions. The U.S. government considers the following two points to be key to identifying cases of possible unlawful entry:

  • ① Those that could pose security threats
  • ② Those that could involve improperly taking employment opportunities from American citizens

Point ① above is naturally important in order to prevent terrorism and smuggling of illegal items. In recent years, though, checking on Point ② has become increasingly strict, and this trend is expected to continue in the future as well. A traveler may be refused entry to the U.S. if he or she has ever performed work or is suspected of having done so, while it could have been done by a U.S. citizen, even for a short period of time, while visiting the U.S. without holding an employment visa. Point ② can be described as a consideration specific to the a country that has a large immigrant population. It is expected that the checking system for applications that could be disadvantageous to the U.S., possibly leading to reduce employment opportunities for U.S. citizens will become even stricter in the future.
It also must be noted that a record of frequent visit to the U.S. over several years or for long periods of stay could lead an immigration officer to suspect that the traveler is working in the U.S. in excess of the business-trip category eligible for ESTA. There is a possibility of refusal of entry to the U.S. if the explanation of the situation is not clear enough to be accepted.
It is required to file tax returns for any income earned in the U.S. if you stayed in the U.S. for over 183 days in the year, even for those who hold no permanent residency. If you plan to stay in the U.S. for a long period, plan your travel thoroughly and be careful to avoid any misunderstanding or trouble.

(Video) Usa Visa Esta Apply

Apply for ESTA here

Back to the ESTA application homepage

UPDATE : 2021/06/29


Can you apply for ESTA again if it was denied? ›

Can I reapply if my application was denied? If an ESTA is denied and the travelers circumstances have not changed, a new application will also be denied. If an ESTA is denied and the travelers circumstances have changed, a new application can be submitted, but there are no guarantees the application will be approved.

What happens if ESTA is denied? ›

If travel authorization under ESTA has been denied, you are required to apply for a visa.

Why will ESTA be denied? ›

The reasons for refusing the ESTA can be various, but in most cases, a refused ESTA form is simply a poorly filled out form. You may have inadvertently filled in information that is different from what is on your passport. Your authorization may also be denied for security reasons.

Why is my ESTA application not working? ›

Check your internet security settings - if they are set too high, they may be blocking access to the ESTA web site. If that doesn't work, try applying from another browser/computer.

Can I make a second ESTA application? ›

You may apply for ESTA as many times as necessary, although you may have to pay the fee each time.

How quickly can you reapply for an ESTA? ›

You may apply for a new ESTA before or after a previous one has expired. There are no restrictions on the number of times you can obtain a new ESTA authorization which is valid for two years from the date of issue. If you wanted to, you even could apply for a new ESTA again the day after obtaining the previous one.

How do I contact ESTA by phone? ›

Inquiries by phone
  1. Contact phone number: 1-877-227-5511. ※Weekdays 8am to 5pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
  2. Inquiry form. CBP INFO center.

Why was my ESTA not approved immediately? ›

If you notice this, it signifies that your screening procedure could not be finished automatically and will need to be reviewed more closely. In some cases, ESTA will not be authorized immediately.

How many times can you enter on an ESTA? ›

There is no limit on the number of times you may enter the U.S. under either ESTA of a visa.

What does an ESTA check? ›

The data you provide in your application is reviewed and verified against a series of databases in order to verify your identity and check that your passport has not been reported stolen or lost. This helps contribute to the security of the United States' external borders, and to combat fraud and terrorism.

How do I find out why my visa is rejection? ›

Upon visa refusal, you will get a letter from the consulate stating the reason for refusal. This will help you reapply after a specific period of time by rectifying the mistake. Also, some of the consulate websites provide the visa status with the reason for rejection, if any.

Does ESTA guarantee entry? ›

ESTA technically only grants permission for you to board a carrier for travel to the United States under the VWP. In the same way that a valid visa does not guarantee admission to the United States, an approved ESTA does not guarantee entry, rather it only establishes that you are eligible to travel there.

Why is my ESTA application under review? ›

Your travel authorization is under review because an immediate determination could not be made for your application. This response does not indicate negative findings. A determination will usually be available within 72 hours.

Can I redo my ESTA? ›

Can I update my ESTA? You can update all information in the form. However, this is only possible, before the application is submitted.

What are the ESTA eligibility questions? ›

ESTA eligibility questions
  • Family Name.
  • First (Given) Name.
  • Gender.
  • Aliases.
  • Date of Birth.
  • City of Birth.
  • Country of Birth.
  • Passport Number.

Do you put middle nameS on ESTA application? ›

It turns out that the ESTA definition of First Given Name is your first name and all your middle names. If you hover over the small question mark it says to enter all given nameS.

Can you get an ESTA in 24 hours? ›

We accept your ESTA application at anytime, 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. The results of your application should be sent about three days after you apply, but we recommend applying for ESTA soon after you decide to travel to the U.S.

How do I get ESTA urgently? ›

How do I apply for an urgent request ESTA? If you apply for an urgent request you have to fill in the ESTA form on our website. Under the heading of ' Urgent request', check 'emergency'.

What happens if I don't have a US point of contact for ESTA? ›

There will be a contact person field on your ESTA application form. Many visitors come to the United States for a road trip or to see the many sites. If you don't have somebody to write down as a point of contact, leave this area blank.

What if I made a mistake on my ESTA application? ›

The only way to solve such a problem is to submit a new application and pay for a new ESTA. If your previous application was accepted, you should be able to submit a new one ESTA here. The update function cannot be used to modify your passport or biometric data.

How can I speed up my ESTA approval? ›

The short answer to this question is no, you cannot fast track an ESTA application. However, by ensuring that your ESTA application is completed with all of the correct information, there is a much better chance that it will get processed quickly and approved.

What is the minimum waiting period between two trips to the USA with an ESTA? ›

There is no set requirement for how long you must wait between visits. Travelers whose ESTA applications are approved, but whose passports will expire in less than two years, will receive an ESTA valid until the passport's expiration date.

Do you get an email when your ESTA is approved? ›

Usually, you will receive an email within a few hours, or up to 72 hours after submitting your application. You are also able to check on the website for your application status, if you have the application reference number.

Do I need to print my ESTA? ›

You don't need to print off or take your ESTA information with you when you travel – it will automatically be sent to your carrier. It's up to you whether you update your travel information on the ESTA system for future trips.

Does ESTA check social media? ›

Social media information is now a mandatory requirement for ESTA and visa applications for the USA. This latest change in visa policy is part of US President Donald Trump's plan to set a “uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures”.

Does ESTA do a background check? ›

The ESTA process asks questions regarding criminal convictions. If you answer 'yes' to the questions that are asked during the ESTA process (see here for further information) regarding convictions, you will be told that you are not eligible to travel under the VWP and will instead have to apply for a visa.

Does ESTA require an interview? ›

Most individuals cannot obtain a US visa without an interview, but if you are from a qualifying nation, you can enter the country under the ESTA visa waiver program. You are not required to participate in an interview for that procedure.

How do I deal with US visa rejection? ›

Try to apply for your visa three months before your planned travel to the U.S. This will give you enough time in case there are delays at the embassy or wish to make an appeal in case your visa is denied. Find out more about the required documents and the conditions you have to meet to apply for the U.S. student visa.

What is the difference between visa refusal and rejection? ›

Visa refusal means you did something wrong and that went on your permanent record, leading to visa refusal. While the visa rejection means something is missing from your application and you have to resubmit your paperwork.

When can I apply again if my visa is rejected? ›

You can appeal the refusal. The appeal must be submitted within 15 days of the receipt of visa refusal to the Consulate that decided to refuse the visa. The appeal must be an original with the original signature of the appellant, i.e. in person or by mail (not email).

Can I get an ESTA from a travel agent? ›

Yes, a third party can fill out your ESTA form for you, as it is not compulsory for the person whose name appears on the form to complete the form themselves. It is acceptable for a third party such as a friend, parent, partner or travel agent to fill out all or part of the form on your behalf.

How many times can you reapply for ESTA? ›

Even if your status became “travel not authorized,” you may apply for ESTA again as many times as you wish.

How many times can I apply for a ESTA? ›

There is no limit on the number of times you may enter the U.S. under either ESTA of a visa.

Can you enter multiple times on ESTA? ›

Your ESTA authorization is generally valid for multiple trips over a period of two years (starting the date that you are approved) or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. As long as you received an ESTA authorization to travel, you do not have to reapply during the validity period.

Can you resubmit ESTA? ›

Prior to payment, you can amend all the details in your application. Once you have paid and submitted your ESTA application, there are some mistakes that you can amend but the majority will require for you to submit a completely new application.

Can I get ESTA at the airport? ›

The good news is that the ESTA application can be completed using your mobile, so you can apply for it whilst you are at the airport, provided that you have internet connection. The other requirements are: You have a valid biometric passport. You have a payment card to pay the application fee.

Can I have two ESTA? ›

First, check your rejected application: under certain circumstances, you may be successful with another ESTA application. This is likely if your application contains only minor errors due to carelessness during the data entry process. If that is the case, you may submit a new ESTA application.

Can you get married in USA on ESTA? ›

Visa-free travel is allowed for trips of up to 90 days and permissible activities include getting married and tourism (honeymooning). You must have been granted your ESTA approval before you travel.

Can I leave USA and return on same ESTA? ›

outside the United States between two stays?? With ESTA authorization it is not possible to leave the USA for a few days and then return, only to trigger the calculation of the 90 days again. There is no rule indicating a minimum period to be spent between two stays.


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