Reasons why an ESTA application gets denied

Published on: Feb 09, 2015, Last Edited: Mar 25, 2019 | Tags: ESTA Denied, ESTA Travel Not Authorized

Getting denied an ESTA can be a disappointment and cause inconveniences for U.S. bound travelers. However, applicants still have the option to apply for a B1 Business Visa, B2 Tourist Visa or a mix B1/B2 Visitor Visa. So why does an ESTA application get denied? There are a few common reasons why an ESTA gets denied, or "Travel not Authorized" as it is deemed by US Customs and Border Protection. A denied ESTA is most likely due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. On a previous visit to the United States, you overstayed beyond the amount of time allowable for your visa or visa waiver.
  2. On a previous visit to the United States, you did not have the appropriate visa to work
  3. You previously made a request for a visa or visa waiver, and were denied entry into the United States.
  4. The answers you provided on your ESTA application form were incorrect, once cross-checked with the US government systems.
  5. You provided the passport details for a passport that you claimed to be lost or stolen, yet actually was still in your possession.
  6. You have a criminal record, and regardless of your answer to question 2 on the ESTA application form, you were found to have a conviction history.
  7. You have the name of someone who committed a crime in your name, or you are a victim of identity theft.

NOTE: If you made a mistake on your ESTA application, you probably want to read this article and watch the video as well:

It is important to note that your eligibility alone does not grant you admission to travel to the US under the visa program, nor grant you entry into the United States. Due to past criminal or immigration history on your record, you may not be permitted to travel under the visa waiver program and under no other circumstances will this change. The government system performs many cross checks across numerous databases to ensure applicants are screened properly. For one reason or another, yours has been declined. Unfortunately, the US Department of Homeland Security does not provide reasons for ESTA application denials nor are they obliged to.

If you have been denied an ESTA, you may be eligible to apply for a B2 or B1 visa to visit the United States for tourism, business, medical or transit purposes. For more visa information or to start your application visit





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ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization for travelers visiting the United States either by Sea or Air for tourism, transit or business visits under 90 days.

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