USA: Understanding Evisa Denial: Guidance for Australian Travelers

Traveling to the United States is a thrilling experience rich with diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you’re an Australian citizen planning to walk the streets of New York City, experience the entertainment capital of the world in Los Angeles, or explore the picturesque natural wonders of the national parks, the United States offers something for everyone. Understanding the nuances of entry requirements is crucial to ensure your trip is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

For Australians, navigating the visa process, or rather the alternative in the form of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), is a key step. Part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the ESTA allows travelers from member countries, including Australia, to visit the US for tourism, business, or transit purposes without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. However, even as convenient as the ESTA process is, applicants can face denials that can throw a wrench in their travel plans.

Common Reasons for ESTA Denial

An ESTA denial can be disheartening, but understanding the common reasons for denial can help you identify potential issues that could affect your eligibility. Here are some factors that could result in an ESTA being denied:

  • Passport Validity: Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.
  • Prior Overstay: If you have previously overstayed your allowed time in the US, this could result in a denial.
  • Criminal History: A criminal background, particularly with offenses considered crimes of moral turpitude, can lead to a denial.
  • Previous Visa Issues: If you have ever been deported from the United States, had a visa canceled, or were refused entry at the border, these issues could affect your ESTA approval.
  • Health Concerns: Certain communicable diseases or health-related reasons can lead to a travel authorization denial.
  • Security Threat: If there’s any suggestion that you might pose a security risk to the US, your application will likely be rejected.
  • Errors on Application: Simple mistakes on the application form, such as incorrect personal information or passport details, can result in denial.

Steps to Take After an ESTA Denial

If your application form for an ESTA has been denied, don’t lose hope; there are steps you can take to address the situation. Here are your immediate options:

  1. Review the Denial: Understand the reason for denial provided by the system and make sure there were no errors or misunderstandings.
  2. Resolve Application Discrepancies: In case the denial was due to incorrect information, you may reapply, ensuring all details are accurate. There’s a mandatory waiting period before reapplying, typically 10 days.
  3. Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa: If your situation remains unresolved, or you know the reason for your ESTA denial is not a simple error, you might need to apply for a visa through the US Embassy or Consulate.

It’s imperative that you provide all the detailed required information and any additional documentation that could strengthen your case when applying for a visa.

Avoiding ESTA Denial

To avoid potential hiccups in your travel plans and to reduce the risk of an ESTA denial, follow these best practices:

  • Ensure all your answers on the ESTA application form are truthful and accurate.
  • Double-check all the personal and passport information you’ve entered before submission.
  • Address any possible grounds for ineligibility, such as past overstays or criminal convictions, before applying.
  • Apply for your ESTA well in advance of your travel date to account for any potential issues or the need to apply for a visa instead.

Applying for an ESTA

Your journey to the United States doesn’t need to be hampered by visa concerns. Applying for an ESTA is typically a straightforward process:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorisation and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.


Q1: Can I apply for an ESTA if I have had a US visa denial in the past?
A1: Yes, you can still apply for an ESTA, but you must disclose the previous visa denial on your application, and it may affect the outcome of your ESTA request.

Q2: Do I need an ESTA if I’m transiting through the United States?
A2: Yes, even if you’re just transiting, you need an ESTA or a valid visa to enter the United States.

Q3: How soon will I know if my ESTA application has been approved or denied?
A3: Typically, you will receive a response on your ESTA status within 72 hours after submission.

Q4: Is it possible to appeal an ESTA denial?
A4: There is no formal appeal process for an ESTA denial, but you may apply for a tourist visa as an alternative method of traveling to the US.

Q5: Is an ESTA a visa?
A5: No, an ESTA is not a visa. It is an authorization to travel to the United States under the VWP. If you cannot obtain an ESTA, you may need to apply for a visa.


While ESTA provides a more streamlined travel authorization process for Australian citizens wishing to visit the United States, it’s vital to be aware of the possible reasons for denial and how to address them. Proper preparation, timely application, and accurate submission of details are key to a hassle-free experience. As your dedicated eVisaUS companion, we’re here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring that your journey to the vibrant and exciting world of the United States is as smooth as possible. Safe travels!

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