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


Can a third party fill out my ESTA application for me?

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.

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How does ESTA differ from other USA visas?

Any foreign nationals wishing to enter the US must first of all obtain some form of visa that provides the relevant permission required from the US border control authorities. Different types of visas are available for different types of reasons for travelling to the US.

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How can I check my ESTA application if the application number doesn’t exist anymore?

Once your ESTA permit has expired, you will not be able to check it and the number will no longer exist, therefore you will have to apply for a new ESTA authorisation. This means you will have to fill in the form once again and you will have to repay the fee.

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