What to do if you have a “pending” ESTA application?

As you probably know, traveling to the United States is not as easy for European citizens as traveling within the Schengen area. The possession of a valid passport is, unfortunately, not enough to enter the United States. However, the U.S. government encourages temporary travel to the United States. This is evidenced by the implementation of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Even the desire to protect its territory was done in the desire to maintain the tourist attraction of the United States with not the abolition of this visa waiver program, but with the introduction of the ESTA.

ESTA is an electronic travel authorization that only foreign nationals from the 40 member countries of the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) are entitled to apply for. To do so, they will have to fill out an online form and proceed with the payment. After submitting the ESTA form, the computer systems of US Customs and Border Protection analyze your ESTA application and assign you a status: ESTA granted, ESTA pending or ESTA denied.

In this article, we look at the ESTA application pending.

” Authorization ESTA authorization pending“Is this a refusal?

The response to an ESTA application is immediate, but the response may be ESTA pending. This means that a final answer will be given to you within 72 hours. It is up to you to check the status of your application by entering your passport number and application number on the official U.S. government website. If the ESTA application was made on a private website, such as that of our partner, an e-mail informing you of the status of your application is sent to you.

The status ESTA pending is not necessarily a sign of refusal. It simply means that your travel authorization is under review, either due to a large number of requests or further verification.

ESTA pending What final status will I get?

Of course, the status “ESTA pending” status is not final. You will be able to find out whether or not you are authorized to leave for the USA with an ESTA within a maximum of 3 days.

Your final status of “approved” or “unapproved travel” will depend on your profile. We remind you that the ESTA is first and foremost a security measure, and that meeting the requirements of the American government is therefore essential for obtaining it. If the eligibility criteria are met, your application ESTA pending will result in an approval of your stay in the USA.

Authorization approved: enjoy your trip!

When an ESTA is pending becomes an approved authorization, congratulations! This means that you are allowed to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

However, an ESTA authorization does not guarantee your admission to the United States; the customs officer makes the final decision. To maximize your chances of entering the U.S., present your round-trip airline tickets to U.S. Customs and answer the questions seriously.

Advice to travelers: there are several things to check before you leave. These include:

  • have a valid biometric (or electronic) passport. The passport number is linked to your ESTA through the electronic systems of the American security. If your passport expires, you must renew it and apply for a new ESTA with the new passport;
  • Check that your authorization is still valid before your departure. The official duration of this travel authorization is usually 2 years, but it also depends on the expiration date of your passport. If the ESTA expires during your trip to the United States of America, you can still travel as long as you have a valid passport covering the entire duration of your stay.

Unauthorized travel: turn to a visa

The most common cause of a denied status is carelessness in filling out your information. Be sure to fill out the form correctly and proofread it before sending it. If the application is rejected for this reason, you can reapply online within 10 days. To ensure an authorized application and, consequently, a trip to the USA, we advise you to go through a private site, like this one. Our experts will complete and verify the form for you.

Other cases of passage “ESTA pending to “unauthorized travel”: you do not meet the conditions for obtaining an ESTA. Before making any application, please ensure that you meet these conditions:

  • be of the nationality of one of the countries concerned by the VWP;
  • to make a short stay of 90 days maximum;
  • Have a valid electronic (or biometric) passport;
  • go to the USA for a tourist stay, a business trip or a stopover.

If one or more of the above elements are not met, you should apply for a U.S. visa by making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy’s consular services.