ESTA is invalid or rejected

Is your ESTA invalid or rejected?

The online application procedure for the ESTA is relatively simple. Nevertheless, it is easy to make a mistake. A typo in your name or passport number will result in an invalid ESTA, which will not allow you to travel. Does your ESTA contain incorrect data? Read on this page what to do.

The ESTA application

In the online application form, a number of details are particularly important. These include the first and last names of the traveller, the date of birth, the expiry date of the passport and the passport number. The country of residence, your gender and a possible second nationality must also all be correctly indicated on the ESTA. You need to check these details yourself. This application form indicates which information must be entered per field. In order to avoid entering incorrect information, you should check everything carefully before submitting the application. Once submitted, an application cannot be modified.

ESTA approved with incorrect information

Upon receiving your ESTA, you should once again carefully check the data. As the immigration authorities do not request a copy of your passport, they cannot check whether the information you have entered is correct. It is therefore possible that an ESTA is granted, but that the information does not match the passport. If the passport number, expiry date, date of birth or names on the passport do not match, you will not have a valid ESTA and will not be able to check in or board at the airport. The names must be written as they appear on the passport at the bottom, in the machine-readable section. These two lines at the bottom of the plastic page of your passport can be recognised by the ‘<<<’ symbols. The only solution to an approved application with incorrect passport data is to apply for a new ESTA.

I discovered an error, what now?

If the data on the ESTA does not match the important data on your passport, the ESTA is invalid and you should immediately apply for a new one. This can be done with the same application form with which you applied for your earlier ESTA. Below, you will find an overview of when you need to re-apply for an ESTA:

Apply for a new ESTA immediately:

  • Wrong passport number
  • Wrong date of birth or names
  • Wrong country of residence
  • Your second nationality or country of birth is not indicated correctly on the ESTA

Applying for a new ESTA is not necessary:

  • Your arrival date in the United States has changed
  • Your home address or contact person in the United States has changed
  • Your employer or your emergency contact has changed
  • The names of your parents do not appear correctly on your ESTA
  • You have applied for an ESTA for a previous trip and you want to use it again
  • You have applied for an ESTA for a transfer, but you also want to spend the night in the United States

Always check that the information on your ESTA is correct as soon as you receive the ESTA.

ESTA application rejected

While rare, it can happen that an ESTA application is rejected by the US immigration service. Unfortunately, the reason for rejection is never disclosed. The US immigration service always retains the right to reject or cancel an ESTA. If an ESTA is rejected, it may be for any of the following reasons:

  • You have 2 nationalities, but did not fill in one of them
  • You have US citizenship as your first or second nationality
  • You are suspected of a criminal offence
  • You have at some point been deported from the United States, or have had a visa application rejected
  • You have at some point stayed longer in the USA than permitted
  • You have visited Cuba after 12 January 2021
  • You are a national of Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Iran or North Korea, or were in one of these countries after March 2011
  • You may pose a threat to security in the United States, or you are unable to answer all of the safety questions with ‘no’

If your application has been rejected, there is no point in applying for an ESTA again. The chances of a new rejection are very high. You can always apply for a visa for the United States. This cannot be done online, you will have to visit the consulate. The application procedure usually takes longer than that of an ESTA and the visa must be physically applied to the passport. During the interview at the consulate, you can inform about why the ESTA was rejected and explain your situation. There is a good chance that you will then be granted a visa and can still travel to America..