ESTA denied

ESTA denied

A rejection of your ESTA application can be worrying, but it doesn't mean the end of your travel plans. We explain why ESTA applications are rejected, how you can avoid common pitfalls, and what alternatives are available.


The official entry permit for the USA!

What is ESTA?

ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to enter the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The ESTA process offers a faster, simpler, and more cost-effective alternative to the conventional US visa.

ESTA requirements

To be eligible for the ESTA process, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are a citizen of a VWP country.
  • You have a biometric passport with corresponding validity.
  • You are planning a tourist or business stay of no more than 90 days.
  • You have no criminal record, no hard-to-treat contagious diseases, and are not a security threat to the United States.
  • You do not intend to work or immigrate.
  • You have never been refused an ESTA application in the past.
  • You have never violated US immigration law.
  • You have not traveled to countries classified as risky by the US government. This includes travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen since March 1st, 2011 and travel to Cuba since January 12th, 2021.
  • You do not have dual citizenship with countries classified as risky by the US government. This rule applies to citizenship in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Sudan, and Syria.
  • You submit your ESTA application correctly and completely.
  • You do not answer any of the ESTA security questions with "Yes".

Common reasons for the rejection of an ESTA application

If you check your case carefully against the requirements for the ESTA program, you will usually find the solution yourself. Your ESTA application may be rejected due to, for example:

  • Errors in your application
  • A previous rejection of a US visa or ESTA application
  • Previously exceeding the permitted duration of stay in the USA ("overstay") or violations of immigration law (e.g., illegal work in the USA)
  • Events in your biography (e.g., previous convictions)
  • Events in your travel history (e.g., trips to countries classified as risky)
  • Previous or current criminal activities
  • Health problems that pose a risk to public health


Submit your ESTA application with the help of our team of experts to minimize the risk of rejection.

Submit your ESTA application now

ESTA rejected: What to do?

After receiving an ESTA rejection, you should first check your application carefully to find out the reasons (even the smallest typing errors or discrepancies can lead to problems with the ESTA application).

An appeal via the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) may help in your case. You should, therefore, first contact your ESTA customer advisor to discuss the next steps.

If there is no chance of a reapplication or correction in your case, you can apply for a visitor visa, such as the B-1 or B-2 visa. The US Visa Service will be happy to help you with your visa application.

Apply Now