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ESTA Problems

London, United...
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ESTA Problems

Hi this is my first post on this forum and i am hoping to get some advice on my ESTA.

I applied for my ESTA last June and initially it took 3 days to be approved. The plan was to travel from the UK to the USA in the Summer 2013. I ended up changing plans and decided to travel this summer instead.

As the ESTA was valid for two years i didn't give it a second thought and just checked it again in February to make sure everything was ok. To my surprise it had reverted back to authorization pending. Again it took 3 days to be approved.

I went ahead after it had been approved and booked a week holiday to LV. I am meant to fly out in two weeks and logged on today to print the ESTA and it has again reverted back to "Authorisation Pending." This has got me extremely worried.

What i would like to know is what all of this means. I have never been in trouble with the law and work in the NHS which requires regular criminal records checks. I am sure it will be approved again but my worry is that on the day of travel it'll say "Authorisation Pending" and i will be denied boarding.

Another thing, my first name is Mohammad and i am 34 so i don't know what effect that has.

Any advice is appreciated. Should i just pack the whole thing in and just take the losses or wait till the day and run the risk.

Nadeem1980 is offline Reply With Quote

Limerick, Ireland
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4,804 posts
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1. Re: ESTA Problems

Refer to the Q & A section at CBP.GOV /

good luck

London, United...
6 posts
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2. Re: ESTA Problems

I've scoured the net looking for an answer for this and even emailed ESTA and the US Embassy but no one can give me a straight answer. I was wondering if anyone had experienced the same thing

Liverpool, UK
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20,539 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: ESTA Problems

I know there have been similar but rare issues in the past of ESTAs initially being approved but subsequently cancelled - the only alternative would be to obtain a visa from the US Embassy but with only 2 weeks I doubt you'll have enough time for that.

Unless you get some sort of answer from CBP the only thing you can do is keep an eye on it and hope for the best.

London, United...
6 posts
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4. Re: ESTA Problems

This is the second time the ESTA has reverted back to "Authorisation Pending." Considering i'd booked the holiday back in March they took their sweet time doing this. I dont know how much the recent terror threats play a part in this. I may be able to get away with cancelling and trying to get some of my money back. Any suggestions?

London, United...
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27,178 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: ESTA Problems

I've never heard of such a thing. Mine is approved immediately and I don't check it again. What is making you keep checking it? Did you tick something that would make it not an automatic approval? It's not just about being in trouble, there is many questions from drug abuse, communicable diseases to mental disorders, through to child detention issues and seeking work etc,

On top of this there is eligibility requirements. The only reason I could think of is you answered yes to a question that is causing an issue with approval.

UK
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49,560 posts
92 reviews
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6. Re: ESTA Problems

Mo, did you put the date of your flight into the ESTA? I suggest you go in and update it with that and see what happens. At least that will give them full details of your intended flight and confidence you intend to fly, what with applying for one and then never flying you may have unfortunately raised a red flag somewhere in softwrae thats looking for things out of the ordinary.

I VERY much doubt you would get back anything if you cancelled so I dont see you have any alternative but to go for it.

Trowbridge, United...
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473 posts
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7. Re: ESTA Problems

hi, did you apply throught the proper website ,should have cost you $14 . many dodgy sites around.

I have applied several times over the past 6 years and have always got approval within minutes and have never logged back in to rechecked.

London, United...
6 posts
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8. Re: ESTA Problems

Hi thanks for all the responses. I applied through the official ESTA website. I only keep checking when it reverts to "Authorisation Pending." I checked it just to be sure it was all ok in Feb, checked it again last week to update flight and accommodation details so i dont know if that triggered it off. All my questions were answered no so there shouldnt be any issues from there

Romford, United...
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2,065 posts
22 reviews
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9. Re: ESTA Problems

It could be something as simple as you have the same first/last name or similar as someone on their watch list, I understand that it is very fluid and maybe when you applied in Summer 13 it was not an issue? not a lot you can do if you don't get authorisation soon other than a personal visit to the Embassy for a visa

Edited: 10:44 am, July 11, 2014
London, United...
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27,178 posts
29 reviews
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10. Re: ESTA Problems

Ok,,,so when it reverted today it was because you updated the details ( you don't need to do that by the way) as such, I would guess it's going to be three days again.,,,,