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ESTA problem please help

(56 Posts)
ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 20:48:56

Regular user, name changed for this.

Due to travel to USA in 10 days time. The relative I am travelling with has had ESTA declined. No idea why, frequent traveller to USA, previous ESTAs no problem, no contentious answers.

Only option now seems to be apply for Visa but requires interview at embassy, and takes time to process.

This trip isn't going to happen for him is it? There is no way of fast tracking this stuff as far as I can tell. No phone number that gets you through to a human. It feels like if you don't get an ESTA they make it very hard for you to visit.

So upset about this. And before anyone piles in yes he shouldn't have left ESTA application so late but that ship has sailed.

Any ideas at all...

CaptainCrunch Mon 16-May-16 20:52:52

I applied for ESTAs last year online. Dh and ds were immediately given but me and dd didn't get accepted for 48 hours. It all seems a bit random, how long has it been since the application was made?

Thisismyalias Mon 16-May-16 20:55:09

Is it his passport? He needs a biometric one to get the esta.

VegasIsBest Mon 16-May-16 20:57:06

Is it worth him trying again with the ESTA in case he just Mis-answered a question? Try 'theDibb' website - they have lots of info to share about such issues.

bigbluebus Mon 16-May-16 20:58:26

How old is their passport? Do they have an ePassport? There was something in the news the other day that said if you didn't have one of the new types of passport you would be declined access to USA - and you have to put your passport number in to apply for ESTA so they would know if it wasn't the right sort of passport.

ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 21:00:58

5 years left on passport
It is the right kind has the symbol on it
The ESTA has been declined so not just not authorised it says declined
He tried again and it said previous decline so wouldn't do it

SwedishEdith Mon 16-May-16 21:01:44

Agree, try again. I was declined as partner mis answered a question by accident. Had to leave it 24/48 hours and reapply.

SwedishEdith Mon 16-May-16 21:05:05

We emailed or rang US embassy - they were perfectly nice and calm about it. Try that?

exWifebeginsat40 Mon 16-May-16 21:07:42

if an ESTA has been declined I don't think the Embassy will issue a visa. the official Embassy website should have contact numbers - they will be very busy though.

DO NOT engage with any websites who claim to be able to get you a visa for a price. you do need to know why the ESTA was refused as it may impact on further visa applications - even some time after the fact.

does the refused applican have any criminal convictions? are they a British passport holder? have they ever had problems before or is this the first visit?

exWifebeginsat40 Mon 16-May-16 21:08:28

*applicant

ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 21:08:35

Thanks Swedish he tried and it seemed impossible to get through to an actual person there were lots of choices press 1 for this 2 for this etc then another load on and on.

We will try again in morning.

How long ago was it you had similar issue?

ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 21:10:21

British passport holder. Had previous ESTAs many times. No criminal convictions nothing. The website says they won't tell you why you were refused but give examples of most common reasons. We will try again in the morning. Thank you.

SwedishEdith Mon 16-May-16 21:13:47

18 months ago now. But it was obvious from the application what had happened. Don't look at Trip Advisor - full of catastrophisers!

BorisIsBack Mon 16-May-16 21:14:06

It currently takes approx 4 weeks to get a visitor visa appointment at the American embassy - so that won't happen. You first need to fill in a short term visitor / tourist visa form but the next available appointment is circa 12th June. Then they need 7 days to return your passport to you.

You can't reapply for an ESTA with the same passport number as you've previously submitted - it won't accept it.

The American embassy in London will not discuss issues with estas you have to contact boarder security in America. They will currently not get back to you until July, but you can raise a complaint /query on there website.

This is currently my specialist subject.

BorisIsBack Mon 16-May-16 21:15:13

Pm me if you want. And call your airline.

ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 21:23:52

Thanks Boris. Yes I told him to call airline. Thank you for the info I may PM you tomorrow when I have more info from you. It is such a huge disappointment as this trip was a big treat after various crappy things that have gone on over last 18 months for him. Thank you I will manage expectations ie tell him this isn't going to happen

ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 21:24:32

More info from him

BorisIsBack Mon 16-May-16 21:27:44

Im sorry flowers

BorisIsBack Mon 16-May-16 21:30:08

and to answer your question in the op there is no fast track if you are basically going on holiday. The only way they will expedite visas is for medical emergencies and alike

ESTAproblem Mon 16-May-16 21:40:45

Yes saw that humanitarian reasons...I think was the lingo

A11TheSmallTh1ngs Tue 17-May-16 00:42:38

If he made a mistake, email them. They actually respond within a few days.

Think hard, usually there is a reason. Maybe an undeclared underage caution? Travel to controversial places? "Controversial" ethnicity?

pilpiloni Tue 17-May-16 01:24:28

Does he have a fairly common name? Pre esta, an acquaintance was stopped and questioned because he had the same name, nationality and birthdate as someone in the system with some serious convictions! He had to persuade them it was not him!

pilpiloni Tue 17-May-16 01:29:10

Oh, I've thought of something you could do. He could get a new passport with one day service and then apply again? He might be declined again and it might not be enough time but maybe?

pilpiloni Tue 17-May-16 01:33:41

Or fly to Canada and drive to where you want to go in U.S. Don't need esta for land crossing

holidaysarenice Tue 17-May-16 02:13:38

When did he get his last esta?

They are valid for two years and you said something about 18months ago, meaning he may already have a valid one. Or you may have meant it expires 18 months ago. I just got my 'about to expire' email through for one from June 2014

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