Ask The Experts: Honeymooning in The USA – What to do if Your Honeymoon ESTA is Rejected?

The United States is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world. Each year, thousands of newlyweds head off to The States to celebrate their newly established union. One of the reasons for this is that getting into the USA is fairly easy: you only need an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and your flight tickets. The ESTA application is made online, and can be acquired in less than an hour in certain cases.

But despite planning your honeymoon to perfection and applying for your ESTA well in time, it can happen that your application for the ESTA permit is denied. That can mean the end of your honeymoon before it even starts! To avoid that, we’ve made a list of the most common reasons for ESTA rejection, so you know which pitfalls to avoid when planning your honeymoon to the USA.

What to do if your honeymoon ESTA is rejected?

1: You did not fill in your second nationality

When you apply for an ESTA, you must indicate whether you have or have ever had a second nationality. The problem is that travellers are sometimes unaware that they have a second nationality. In some countries, people can lose their nationality when obtaining another one. If you or your parents were born in a different country than your current home country of which you have the nationality, check whether you still hold the nationality of your country of birth. If so, you must fill this in during the ESTA application.

2: You (accidentally) answered one of the safety questions with “Yes”

At the bottom of the ESTA form are several questions you need to answer before you can submit the application to US immigration. These concern the background of the applicant. If you answer one or more questions with “Yes”, the application will be rejected. Keep in mind that even if you accidentally clicked wrongly, the ESTA will be rejected, as well as any future applications. It’s better to spend some extra time double-checking everything, than to have your ESTA rejected!

3: You have posted questionable content on social media

The ESTA form asks you to fill in your social media profiles from the last five years. If the US immigration service finds problematic posts, this may lead to the rejection of your ESTA application. Think about posts glorifying things like terrorism or other kinds of violence. If you’ve never made those kinds of remarks on social media, you have nothing to worry about.

4: US immigration suspects that you plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days

Your ESTA is valid for a total of two years, during which you may stay in America for a maximum of 90 consecutive days. In most cases, this is more than enough for a wonderful honeymoon. However, it sometimes happens that people do not comply with this term. They overstay their ESTA, for example for economic reasons. If US immigration suspects that you intend to overstay your ESTA, the application will be rejected. Travellers who state that they are unemployed in the ESTA form have a higher chance of having their ESTA rejected.

ESTA rejected: honeymoon over?

Finally, US immigration may reject an ESTA without reason, even if you followed all the rules. If you submit another application after this, there is a good chance that it will also be rejected. It may also happen that an application is first approved, but then rejected. If this sounds frustrating, you are entirely right.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your honeymoon plans to the USA. If your ESTA application is rejected, you can still apply for a US visa. Keep in mind that this does take quite a bit longer than getting an ESTA, sometimes even several months. This can be easily solved by applying for your ESTA as soon as you plan to go on a honeymoon. This way, you have enough time to apply for a visa if your ESTA is rejected for whatever reason.






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