Esta visa applications are processed immediately online and most of them are approved within 60 seconds of submission. However, there are situations where an application may be delayed up to 72 hours. When an ESTA Visa application is approved, you will be notified either through email or your web browser. The notification will include the authorization number, the ESTA expiry date and other information.
The Processing Times
According to official-esta.com, about 90% of the applications are approved within a minute of submission and the other 10% give a ‘Pending’ message and need 1-72 hours in order to process. Chances of an application taking over 24% to process is about 5%.
When it comes to denials, official-esta.com also states that the likely hood of getting a ‘Travel Not Authorized’ notification is about 2.5%. Factors that usually lead to denial primarily include answering ‘YES” to any eligibility questions that pertain to criminal, medical, and immigration history. Other factors that contribute to the denial of ESTA visa include giving inconsistent information and having multiple citizenships. It is important to note that if you are denied an ESTA, you are still eligible to apply for a United States visa.
When it comes to delays, the main culprits include technical issues with the CBP systems or with the payment processing, which may be as a result your chosen payment methods or the systems used by CBP to process the payments. As such, it is advisable to check your application status on the official website if you are yet to get an update regarding your application within 24 hours.
It is also worth noting that if there are ESTA site issues, then there’s a bigger possibility of you experiencing delays with your application. Most site issues are usually resolved within 4 to 8 hours and so, it is advisable to apply early enough in order to avoid unexpected delays.