Problems with the esta application

Errors in the ESTA application can have serious consequences! Not only can it result in a denial of entry clearance, but in the worst case it can also mean a lifetime ban on visa-free entry to the U.S. How to avoid problems with your ESTA application!

The official entry permit for the USA!

Error messages in the ESTA application

Providing phone number, email address or address often results in error messages on the ESTA website of the official US authorities. As this is an automatic data check, it can happen that even correct data is wrongly classified as incorrect and you are therefore not allowed to continue the ESTA application for the time being.

In such a case please check your information again. If these are correct, please click "Continue" again at the bottom of the page. Usually, after the second submission, you will see another message asking you to click the checkbox to confirm that your information is correct. You can then continue with your application.

Should you decide to submit your application via, we can guarantee that there will be no problems due to an automatic data check, as our USA experts from The American Dream will personally review your application before it is submitted to the US authorities. In case of any discrepancies, we would contact you immediately by phone or e-mail.

Problems ESTA application

I cannot answer an ESTA question

If you do not know any of the information requested in the ESTA application, you have the option to answer ‘UNKNOWN’ in the following mandatory fields:

  • Passport data of a former passport/ID card of another nation
  • Information about your parents
  • Contact person in the USA (please fill in ‘UNKNOWN’ only in case of extreme emergency)
  • Queries about your emergency contact

In unknown but mandatory number fields, please always enter ’00’.

Problems with the ESTA application phone number

This applies to the following number fields:

  • Emergency contact phone number
  • Telephone number US contact person
  • Postal code Address data Applicant
  • Zip code US contact person
  • Zip code employer in employment details

Problems with the payment of the ESTA application

The ESTA application is not considered submitted until the payment of the ESTA fee has been successfully received by the US authorities. Problems with the payment can therefore result in your application not being processed at all.

On the official website of the US authorities you have the option to pay with your credit card or with PayPal. Below you will find a list of possible causes for a problem with the payment of your ESTA application.

Payment method

Possible cause

Typing error when entering credit card data

Credit card has exp.

credit card is not cov.

Credit card is blocked

Transaction is invalid

Your PayPal account is in th.

Transaction was rejected by the bank due to insufficient funds

At you have the possibility to pay by credit card and PayPal as well as by Giropay, Apple Pay, EPS and Sofort.

Lost ESTA application number – what now??

If you apply for ESTA on the website of the official US authority, you have to check your ESTA status on your own.

For the query, you have the option to choose between providing the following data:

So if you have forgotten or lost your ESTA application number, you may have your ESTA status or. still retrieve the validity of your ESTA without any problems using option 2 above.

Option 1

Option 2

Country of citizenship

Passport issue date

Expiration date of your passport

For ESTA-Online we take over the status check and send the result of the ESTA application additionally as a PDF via e-mail.

Entry with ESTA without return ticket?

Entering the USA with ESTA is only possible if you already have a return ticket or a visa. you have a ticket for onward travel.

If you have an ESTA, but have only booked the outbound flight, you will probably not even be allowed on the plane to the USA. Since the airlines would have to pay for your return flight in case of a rejection at the US border, they are very careful in most cases.

Traveling to the United States only with a one-way ticket, the US authorities fear that you do not want to leave the country again and therefore suspect an illegal immigration intention.

The return ticket is therefore proof that you will be departing again at a reasonable time or. will travel further.

Loss or theft of your passport

Since your ESTA is always linked to your passport, the entry permit immediately loses its validity once you report your passport stolen or lost. Even if you recover your passport at a later date, you will no longer be able to use it to enter the U.S.

You would need to apply for both a new passport and a new ESTA in this situation to qualify for visa-free entry again. Alternatively, you could report the passport as ‘found’ again via the Citizens’ Registration Office, but this is usually a relatively complicated and time-consuming process.

Entering a problematic country

The USA classifies the following countries as problematic:

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Yemen
  • Sudan
  • Somalia
  • North Korea
  • Libya
  • Syria

If you are unable to apply for ESTA after the 1. If you have traveled to one of the above countries since March 2011, you no longer qualify for visa-free entry to the U.S. with ESTA and must apply for a U.S. visa.

Even ESTAs that have already been approved will immediately lose their validity as soon as you visit one of the countries classified as problematic after you have received your ESTA approval.

US visa denied – Can I travel with ESTA??

If you have ever been denied a U.S. visa, you will automatically no longer qualify for visa-free entry to the U.S.

In the ESTA application, you will be explicitly asked in the security questions if you have had a visa application rejected in the past. As soon as you answer "Yes" to this question your ESTA application will also be rejected. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you always answer truthfully.

This is also the case the other way round: If you have a valid ESTA authorization and afterwards your visa application is rejected (the reason is not decisive), your ESTA automatically loses its validity.

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