The Americas

5 Reasons your ESTA won’t be approved


The Electronic System for Travel Authentication allows visitors to use the Visa Waiver Program to travel to the USA as its name suggests, without requiring a visa. The Visa Waiver Program is open to citizens from 38 countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and many European Union Countries. ESTA Authentication gives these visitors pre-approval to travel to the United States, this is goes along way to ensuring your holiday to America will run smoothly however entry can still be denied entry upon arrival.

Just because someone is from one of the Visa Waiver countries it does not ensure they will be receive authorisation through their ESTA USA application. In fact there are plenty of reasons that could lead to your ESTA not being approved both from your past and your present.



Let’s take a look at the most common reasons that your ESTA could be denied.

You have a criminal record

Well this one was quite obviously really and understandable. Those who have committed and been convicted of serious crimes such as Murder, Rape or Assault will be denied ESTA. However it has also been reported that people have been turned away from the United States for much smaller offences. For example the once World’s Heaviest man was denied entry because if 24- year old conviction for stealing.

Communicable diseases

Those with serious illness such as AIDS, HIV or Hepatitis C may be denied the ESTA in an attempt to prevent the spread of these diseases across the country.

You Previously Over Stayed your Visa

For those who have previously visited the United States of America and overstayed there visa are likely to be denied ESTA no matter what there excuse. The United States is very strict in this regard.

Your tried to work without a working visa

Trying to work in the United States of America without a visa is again a big no no. If you were caught doing this then expect to have your ESTA application rejected.

Mistakes on Application

If you made any mistakes in your ESTA application or you left any questions unanswered you will likely raise eyebrows since the information you give will be cross checked with internal system records. Make sure to check your answers, fill everything in properly and don’t skip anything on your ESTA application.

Identify Theft

Now this one really sucks and can give you problems in all walks of life! But if you have the same name of someone who committed a crime or even worse someone stole your identity to commit a crime then you will likely not be approved through ESTA. The problem here is that it is almost impossible to contest you ESTA status. If your ESTA is declined then thats it.