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What do the responses mean for my ESTA application?

There are three responses that you can get once you retrieve your ESTA application - authorisation pending, authorisation approved, and travel not authorised.
  • Authorisation Pending: This means that your application has been received, but it has not been decided 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. So once you receive this response you can go on your trip to the U.S.
  • Travel Not Authorised: If you receive this response, then this means that your application was reviewed and rejected. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not need to disclose why exactly this has happened, 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 page 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 taken, sometimes it can take up to three days - so make sure you sort out your application well in advance before your trip.
You can check the status of your ESTA application anytime you like to see what status your application is at.