What to do if your ESTA is Travel Not Authorized?

Published: Sep 14, 2015, Updated: Oct 15, 2022 | Tags: ESTA, Visa Waiver Program, ESTA Denied, ESTA Travel Not Authorized

My ESTA decision was "Travel Not Authorized", what should I do?

If you still wish to travel even though your application was denied or "Travel Not Authorized", then you can still apply for a non-immigrant visa. This includes B1 Business Visas and B2 Tourist Visas. There are also several other types and categories of visas to learn about that may be relevant for your travel purposes. A denial of an ESTA does not revoke your eligibility for a different U.S. visa application.

Is it possible to re-apply for an ESTA if I am still waiting on a decision?

If your ESTA application is still pending, you notice an error, you may be able to quickly resubmit a fresh application with the corrected mistakes without having the original application negatively impact the decision.

If your application has been denied, it’s highly unlikely that it will be approved the second time around if your circumstances have not changed since the previous application. Travelers who have not obtained an approved ESTA are not able to travel under the Visa Waiver Program, thus they will have to apply for a non-immigrant visa at their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you review your denied ESTA information and notice you made a mistake, you can potentially reapply without the assistance of DHS depending on the form fields that were incorrectly answered.

Re-applying with different or false information in a bid to meet the requirements for a travel authorization will permanently disqualify the traveler for approval to go to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.

Can I find out why my ESTA was denied?

You can make a request for redress online at the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry program website. However, because the ESTA program has been formed in such a way so that only individuals who are not qualified to travel under the VWP, or whose travel to the U.S. would be a security risk, aren’t issued a travel authorization, there are simply no guarantees that you request will be fulfilled.

Furthermore, U.S. Embassies and Consulates cannot give you any information, nor resolve issues regarding your travel authorization denial.

Is it possible to get an emergency visa appointment at a US Embassy or consulate?

You can get more information about the visa appointment process and wait times by visiting the following link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html. The availability of next-day appointments simply cannot be guaranteed. There are exceptions that may warrant an emergency appointment however, each U.S. embassy may have a separate policy on permitted reasons.


  1. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html



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ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization for eligible travelers entering the United States by land, air, or sea for visits less than 90 days.

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