Reasons Why Finns Might Face USA Visa Denial and How to Address Them

Understanding the reasons behind US visa denial is crucial for Finns aspiring to visit the United States. As excited as one might be about the iconic landmarks, diverse culture, and dynamic cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, it’s essential to be aware of the hurdles that could arise during the visa application process. For Finnish citizens who are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), obtaining an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is typically a more straightforward process. However, even when applying for an ESTA, denial can occur, and it helps to know the common reasons behind such setbacks.

Eligibility and Grounds for Denial

For Finns, being part of the VWP Countries makes traveling to the US for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days easier because they can apply for travel authorization via the ESTA. Nonetheless, this doesn’t guarantee automatic approval. An ESTA may be denied due to several reasons, including:

  • Incomplete or Incorrect Information: Even small mistakes on your application form can result in denial. It’s essential to double-check every detail before submission.
  • Overstaying Previous Visits: If you’ve visited the US before and overstayed beyond the period granted, it could negatively impact your ESTA application.
  • Criminal History: A past conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude, drug violations, or multiple offenses can lead to an ESTA denial.
  • Previous Visa or ESTA Denial: If you have been previously denied a visa or an ESTA, this could affect your current application.
  • Security Concerns: Any indication of a threat to US security, including previous travel to regions of concern, may result in denial.
  • Health-related Issues: Certain communicable diseases or a lack of required vaccinations can be grounds for inadmissibility.
  • Insufficient Evidence of Ties to Finland: Applicants must show that they intend to return to Finland by providing evidence of strong ties such as employment, family, or property ownership.

What to Do If Your ESTA is Denied

If you find that your ESTA application has been denied, it’s important to understand your options. Denial of an ESTA does not necessarily mean you cannot travel to the US; it simply means that you are not eligible under the VWP and may need to apply for a visa instead.

Applying for a Visa After Denial

If you need to apply for a visa, the process is more comprehensive than an ESTA application form. Here is what the process may involve:

  • Gathering extensive documentation, including evidence of your ties to Finland and your reason for visiting the US.
  • Filling out the DS-160 form and scheduling an interview at the US Embassy in Finland.
  • Preparing for the interview to explain the reasons for your travel and the circumstances of your ESTA denial.

Remember that obtaining a visa can take significantly longer than obtaining an ESTA, so it’s best to apply well in advance of your intended travel dates.

Preventing ESTA Denial

To prevent delays or denials in obtaining your ESTA:

  • Ensure all information in your application form is accurate and truthful.
  • Resolve any potential issues that might cause denial before you apply, such as paying off old fines or resolving minor legal issues.
  • Consult with immigration professionals if you have concerns about past inadmissibility.
  • If you need urgent travel authorisation, consider our expedited processing options at checkout.

Applying for Your ESTA

To apply for an ESTA, follow these steps:

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


While visa denial can be disappointing, understanding the reasons can help you take steps to ensure your future travel plans are successful. Always start the application process early, double-check your information, and don’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t go as planned. Safe travels and we hope to be a part of your journey to the United States.


How long should I wait to apply for a visa after an ESTA denial?

You can apply for a visa immediately after an ESTA denial, but ensure you have addressed the reasons for the denial before doing so.

Can I apply for an ESTA again if denied?

If your circumstances have changed or you believe the denial resulted from a correctable error, you can reapply. However, wait for the recommended time suggested by the ESTA application system before reapplying.

What are the chances of getting a visa after ESTA denial?

Your chances depend on addressing the reasons for your ESTA denial and your ability to provide strong, credible evidence during your visa interview.

Can I get an ESTA if I have a criminal record?

A criminal record doesn’t automatically disqualify you, but it depends on the type, severity, and circumstances of the offense. You may need to apply for a visa instead.

Is it possible to appeal an ESTA denial?

There is no appeal process for an ESTA denial, but you can reapply if your situation has changed or apply for a visa instead.

If you’re ready to explore the wonders of the United States and need to secure your travel authorization smoothly, start with your ESTA application today.

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