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


How secure is my data?

The ESTA websiteoperates under the rules and regulations that are outlined in the United States Privacy Act insure the privacy of your information. In fact, the U.S. Code § 552a - Records maintained on individuals states the following regarding the conditions of disclosure: No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a...

Read More..

What if my information has changed since applying for ESTA?

You might be able to edit the information on your ESTA form depending on what the change is and also depending on whether you have submitted and paid for your application. Before payment, you...

Read More..

What happens if your ESTA expires while you are in the USA?

If you are in the US and your ESTA expires then it is not an issue, as your ESTA must only be valid when you are entering the border of the US. This is when you will get checked by the border control authorities, so when you are returning to the UK or wherever else, there is no requirement to have a valid ESTA.

Read More..