What do the responses mean for my ESTA application?

There are three responses that you can get once you retrieve your ESTA application, as listed below:
  • Authorisation Pending: This means that your application has been received, but it has not been decided whether to authorize or reject it yet. It can take up to 72 hours for a decision to be made on an application, so check back during or after the next three days to see if there has been an update on your ESTA approval.
  • Authorisation Approved: If you receive this response, this means that your application has now been fully processed and accepted. Once you receive this response you can go on your trip to the U.S. with full permission from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • Travel Not Authorised: If you receive this response, then this means that your application was reviewed and rejected. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not need to disclose their rationale for rejecting your application, but there are a number of reasons why an ESTA application could have been rejected, just click here to find out more.
You won’t receive a notification if your ESTA has been approved or not by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection themselves, so you will need to go on the official ESTA website in order to check the status of your application for any updates you may need.
While it normally takes just a couple of minutes for applications to be reviewed and for a decision to be taken, sometimes it can take up to three days - so make sure you submit your application well in advance before your trip.
You can check the status of your ESTA application at any time to see your current application status.

Related FAQs


Do I need to apply for ESTA if I have a stop-over in the United States?

Yes, even if your final destination is not the United States and you’re stopping at an airport in the U.S. for just an hour or two, you will still need to get an ESTA authorisation. You may not even be able to board your flight if you do not have a valid ESTA, as your airline will request this before your departure.

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How can I check my ESTA is still valid?

You can check the status of your ESTA application at any time. Visit the governmental website, click on the Check Existing Application option, which will take you down to the Returning Applicants Check ESTA Status section.

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I forgot my Group Identification number. How can I log in to check my status?

If you do not remember your group identification number, there are a couple of ways you can retrieve the number. One option is to get in touch with us to retrieve your group identification number here.

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