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Seeking advice: US ESTA for transit

Bitten

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Hey all!
My daughter was denied boarding for her flight this morning departing the UK to Vancouver via Dallas due to not having an ESTA. She applied for one instantly and has been notified that it can take up to 72hrs to be processed although approx 90% of cases are approved within the hr.

She has previously travelled to Israel and Jordan, could this be an issue for her application?

She has an approved Canadian visa.

She is currently waiting at the airport so we are seeking advice on what to do, all suggestions welcome!

Many thanks in advance!
 
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p--and--t

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Disclosure: No personal experience.

Seems typical US behaviour, even though you are only transiting through the US with no intention of staying, an ESTA is requested.

Similar to a relative of mine departing Melbourne AU for Canada with a transit through Hawaii was not allowed to commence the trip without either an US ESTA or Visa.

Applications seem to go into a "black box" and come out after varying time lengths.
 

serfty

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She applied for one instantly and has been notified that it can take up to 72hrs to be processed although approx 90% of cases are approved within the hr.
If she rechecks she may find it approved if she used the official site as posted by @Hvr
 

Bitten

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It is currently 05:18am in Washington DC on a Friday morning.
Hopefully she applied via this site and not a scam site that, if it delivers an ESTA will take longer.


Keep checking every 30 minutes and hope it comes through. Israel won't be an issue.

Hope she has the Canadian on-line visa.
Thanks for your help! Yes, she spoke to UK officials and applied through the correct government website.
 

RooFlyer

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She has previously travelled to Israel and Jordan, could this be an issue for her application?
You mean the new ESTA application? No, it shouldn't be.

But I see you have 'transit' in the thread title. You probably know by now that there is no such thing as 'transiting' the USA (although I have done it, but that's another story) and either an ESTA or a Visa is mandatory because all arrivals have to enter the USA via immigration and customs. I'm surprised that whoever supplied the ticket, or even an on-line process didn't make it clear that its not possible to go to the USA without an ESTA or Visa.

I hope it comes through quickly for your daughter.
 

DC3

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... My daughter was denied boarding for her flight this morning departing the UK to Vancouver via Dallas due to not having an ESTA ...
The ESTA was for some years usually electronically issued within a matter of minutes. However, that was changed, maybe in the last year or two, and now takes longer. They say to plan on up to 72 hours, but could be much shorter. As posted already, all passengers landing in the USA will pass through Border Security on entry, so ESTA is obligatory.

Edit: Unfortunate that at the time of booking, the airline did not have a warning about the ESTA requirement on their website,
 
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p--and--t

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The ESTA was for some years usually electronically issued within a matter of minutes. However, that was changed, maybe in the last year or two, and now takes longer. They say to plan on up to 72 hours, but could be much shorter. As posted already, all passengers landing in the USA will pass through Border Security on entry, so ESTA is obligatory.
According to various media, the process was "Trump enhanced" to stop all those nasty foreigners who are trying to get in; thus the fees and time delays.
 

I love to travel

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It might be too late but for others you don't get a notification email you need to keep checking the site.
 

trooper

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Disclosure: No personal experience.

Seems typical US behaviour, even though you are only transiting through the US with no intention of staying, an ESTA is requested.

Similar to a relative of mine departing Melbourne AU for Canada with a transit through Hawaii was not allowed to commence the trip without either an US ESTA or Visa.

Applications seem to go into a "black box" and come out after varying time lengths.
It is not requested..it is required....as already mentioned there is no (or very little) actual "Transit" possible through the US (I believe several airports have sterile transit procedures for some I-I transits but it is certainly not widespread)...it is due to the way most US airports are built and operated.

Having a Canadian visa, and having visited Israel and Jordan have nothing to do with it... she will be entering the US during her transfer (not transit) in Dallas and thus needs the ESTA.

Hopefully the OP will return to say it has been approved in the interim.

My last ESTA.. in the "trump era" and all... took the usual few minutes... (And just BTW..the ESTA fee was introduced in 2010 (so under President Obama) ...but not surprising these days that "various media" are unaware of that and too lazy to check)
 

straitman

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There is one inconsistency to this that I know of.

If you are a citizen of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and you enter the U.S. by land from Mexico or Canada, you are only required to complete the paper I-94W form at the land border crossing. ESTA is currently required for air and cruise ship travel only.
 

RailFlyer

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It might be too late but for others you don't get a notification email you need to keep checking the site.
This. I applied for one recently and from memory got an instant email from them confirming my application but after a few more days with no communication I logged into their site to check on progress and found it was approved. It may have been approved after 1 minute for all I knew. Strange they wouldn't send a "Congratulation" email once approved. Maybe trump has put a ban on all email servers....
 
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DC3

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It might be too late but for others you don't get a notification email you need to keep checking the site.
Don’t forget that you/your daughter need to keep checking the ESTA website so as you know when approval is given. Then re-book the flights if still wishing to travel after the ESTA requirement shock.

ESTA validity is usually two years or when you get a new passport, whichever comes first.
 

trooper

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Don’t forget that you/your daughter need to keep checking the ESTA website so as you know when approval is given. Then re-book the flights if still wishing to travel after the ESTA requirement shock.

ESTA validity is usually two years or when you get a new passport, whichever comes first.
And that is a good bit of advice that sometimes seems to be less well known!
 

phily

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Bitten, the OP, asked for advice last Friday, and their most recent comment was also last Friday. It's now Wednesday. Many of us will be wondering what the outcome was. When people ask for advice in such situations, and suggestions and feedback are given, it's always good to hear what the final outcome was. Bitten?
 

fn0

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The ESTA was for some years usually electronically issued within a matter of minutes. However, that was changed, maybe in the last year or two, and now takes longer. They say to plan on up to 72 hours, but could be much shorter. As posted already, all passengers landing in the USA will pass through Border Security on entry, so ESTA is obligatory.

Edit: Unfortunate that at the time of booking, the airline did not have a warning about the ESTA requirement on their website,
As posted already, all passengers landing in the USA will pass through Border Security on entry, so ESTA is obligatory.
Not that it makes any difference as to who needs an ESTA, but not all assengers landing in the USA actually pass through Border Security, some preclear at the originating airport (Dublin, Shannon, Aruba, Freeport, Nassau, Bermuda, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.) and are therefore treated as domestic passengers .when arriving.
 

support

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Bitten, the OP, asked for advice last Friday, and their most recent comment was also last Friday. It's now Wednesday. Many of us will be wondering what the outcome was. When people ask for advice in such situations, and suggestions and feedback are given, it's always good to hear what the final outcome was. Bitten?
Yes, I think that many of us appreciate some feedback. However, the OP doesn’t really “hang out” on AFF like some of us do.

We will probably hear more down the track.
There is no need for commentary on whether the OP will post an outcome or not. Future posts on that subject may be removed for being off topic.
 
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DC3

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Well, this ESTA thread has reminded me to get in early for my next USA trip. Due to the two-year validity, I usually leave it fairly late, in case I can sneak a second trip in. 😀
 
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JW

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She needs esta as she is really in transit. Apply via official website only as thats fastest.

Had similar issue earlier in the year however had an esta from a prev trip. Funny how we can just go to Canada and leave Canada but as soon as we leave, a us immigration person in interested in us cos they think we may want to live in their country..

This is another reason I've avoided the USA as much as I can. Who in their right minds wants to live in a crummy place when we can live on the beach in oz with perfect weather :)
 

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