Understanding the Change in ESTA Application Status from Authorized to Pending

For many travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an essential part of the process. ESTA allows eligible citizens from participating countries to travel to the US without a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

However, it can be concerning when your ESTA application status changes from authorized to pending. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind this change and what you can do to resolve it.

Why does the ESTA application status change from authorized to pending?

There can be several reasons why your ESTA application status changes from authorized to pending:

  • Additional Information Required: Sometimes, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may require additional information to process your application. This typically happens when there are discrepancies or inconsistencies in your application or travel history. In such cases, your application will be placed on hold until the CBP reviews the requested information.
  • Security Checks: The CBP conducts security checks on all ESTA applications to ensure the safety and security of the United States. If your application triggers any security concerns, it will be placed under review, resulting in a change in status from authorized to pending.
  • Technical Issues: Occasionally, technical glitches or system errors may cause your application status to change to pending. These issues are usually temporary and can be resolved by contacting the ESTA customer support team.

What should you do if your ESTA application status changes to pending?

If your ESTA application status changes to pending, the first step is to remain calm and not panic. Here are some steps you can take to resolve the issue:

  1. Check your email: If the change in status is due to additional information required, the CBP will typically send you an email with instructions on how to provide the requested information. Make sure to check your email inbox, including the spam folder.
  2. Provide the requested information: If you receive an email from the CBP requesting additional information, follow the instructions provided. Make sure to provide accurate and complete information to expedite the review process.
  3. Contact ESTA customer support: If you believe the change in status is due to a technical issue or if you did not receive any email from the CBP, it is advisable to contact the ESTA customer support team. They will be able to assist you in resolving the issue and provide guidance on the next steps.


A change in ESTA application status from authorized to pending can be unnerving, but it is essential to approach the situation calmly and take the necessary steps to resolve it. Whether it is providing additional information or seeking assistance from the ESTA customer support team, proactive action is key to ensuring a smooth travel experience to the United States.

Remember, the ESTA application process is designed to enhance security and facilitate hassle-free travel. By understanding the reasons behind changes in application status and knowing how to address them, you can navigate through any challenges that may arise during the process.

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