Are you leaving for the United States and have confirmed your decision by purchasing your airline tickets? Congratulations, this country will not fail to surprise you!
Once you know your destination and travel dates, you can get started with the ESTA application process.
Most authorizations are issued within the same day, however, some requests may be “pending”, that is, pending. Do not panic, if you have nothing to blame you, know that this status is common and it is not synonymous with refusal. Thus the validity of the ESTA is not yet effective but pending.
ESTA request “pending”: explanations
First of all, it is very rare for an ESTA to be refused (around 0.1%). We will therefore return to the different reasons why an application for a travel authorization may be pending.
- When you validate your application form, there are also some checks that are automatically performed (eg your nationality or if a previous application has been refused before). If you validate your request during a busy period on the site (in December for example), it is likely to be put on hold.
- US authorities are conducting random checks. Your file may be pending for this reason.
- Some additional controls may also be performed as a result of the information you have provided. These are conducted so that the government ensures that you do not represent in any way a threat to the country.
Status “pending”, for how long?
If most requests are processed within one day of submitting your application, the maximum official processing time is 72 hours. Also, we advise you to take this period into consideration when you apply so you do not find yourself ready to board without your ESTA, because your stay may be ruined. Without prior travel authorization, you will not be able to travel to the United States (unless you have a green card or visa, in which case you are exempt).
ESTA refused, what to do?
After 72 hours, the status of your file indicates that your ESTA request has been denied . You can re-apply in 10 days. In the meantime, check that you have not made any entry errors and that you meet all the eligibility criteria.
Alternatively, apply for a visa from the embassy or consulate . The process is a little longer and more expensive, but if it succeeds, you are sure to go to the United States safely.