USA: Understanding Travel eVisa Denials

Planning a trip to the United States can be exciting. From the bustling streets of New York City to the serene landscapes of the Grand Canyon, this diverse country offers experiences for every traveler. However, for many Spaniards, the dream of exploring the U.S. hinges on obtaining the correct travel authorization. For nationals of Spain, which is one of the VWP countries, this often means applying for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

The beauty of an ESTA is the straightforward process compared to a traditional visa, yet there are instances where applicants may face denial. Understanding these reasons is crucial to ensure your plans to visit the United States aren’t halted unexpectedly. Let’s explore the common grounds for which a US visa, or in this case, an ESTA, may be declined for Spanish nationals.

Understanding ESTA and Reasons for Denial

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s essential to recognize what an ESTA is. The ESTA is not a visa, but instead is an online travel authorization for citizens of VWP countries that allows them to visit the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit, for up to 90 days per visit.

Eligibility Requirements and Common Denial Factors

While the application form is straightforward and the approval rates high, there are common factors that may lead to denial for Spaniards:

  • Passport Issues: Holding a non-electronic or expired passport, or errors within the passport details on the ESTA application.
  • Overstaying Previous Visits: Having previously exceeded the allowed length of stay in the U.S. can result in denial.
  • Criminal History: A record of certain criminal activities can be grounds for immediate disqualification.
  • Previous Visa Denials or Deportations: If an applicant has faced a visa denial or has been deported from the U.S., this could affect the outcome of an ESTA application.
  • Security Risks: Indications that an applicant may pose a security risk to the U.S., based on various factors, can lead to a denial.
  • Health Concerns: Certain infectious diseases or lack of required vaccinations can be a disqualifying factor.
  • Immigration Violations: Previous violations of immigration law, like working illegally on a tourist visa, can also lead to ESTA denial.
  • Insufficient Answers on the ESTA Application: Failing to provide complete or truthful responses on the application form.

How to Address a Denial

If your ESTA application is denied, it’s important to address the specific reason for the denial. For instance, you may need to renew or update your passport or provide additional information. In certain cases, it could be necessary to apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate instead.

Best Practices for Spanish Applicants

To avoid potential issues and improve the chances of approval, follow these best practices:

  • Ensure your passport is an electronic, biometric passport with a digital chip.
  • Fill out the online application form accurately, double-checking all personal information.
  • Be honest about your past criminal record, visa denials, or deportations. Omitting such information can lead to a denial based on deception.
  • Apply for your ESTA well in advance of your travel date to allow time for any unexpected delays or issues.

Expedited ESTA Processing

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, eVisaUS offers expedited processing options. Our simple three-step process is designed to obtain your travel authorization quickly:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form, ensuring all details are correct and you have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72 hours. In urgent cases, expedited processing options are available at checkout.

FAQs Surrounding ESTA Denials

Here are some frequently asked questions that can provide additional clarity:

Can I reapply for an ESTA if it’s denied?

Yes, if your circumstances have changed or if you believe there was a mistake in your previous application, you can reapply. However, if the reasons for your previous denial still exist, it is unlikely that a new application will be approved.

Is there an appeal process for an ESTA denial?

No, there is no formal appeal process for an ESTA denial. Your alternative is to apply for a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Can I still visit the United States if my ESTA is denied?

Yes, you can still visit the U.S. by applying for the appropriate visa through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A denial of an ESTA does not necessarily mean a denial of a visa.


Having an ESTA application denied can be disappointing, but understanding the reasons can help you take proactive steps to ensure you’re prepared for your next application or for applying for a visa. Remember, careful preparation and attention to detail can pave the way for a successful travel authorization application, leading you closer to your American adventure.

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