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    • supersezzie
    • By supersezzie 10th Apr 18, 6:03 PM
    • 87Posts
    • 30Thanks
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    ESTA issues!
    • #1
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:03 PM
    0 WOW
    ESTA issues! 10th Apr 18 at 6:03 PM
    Hi all, so I may have been a little silly. I applied for my ESTA on 4th April through the official US site, paid my $14 and got a pending result. I am panicking slightly and went to check my status, and am confused if this 72 hour window is a minimum or a maximum - worried I was meant to check it within 3 days and didn't. So when I went to check the application, it wanted to charge $39. I was shocked that this is the case to check when I've paid for the ESTA already (especially considering it's not through my choice or like I lost the details - I was just waiting on a decision) and consequently I wasn't sure if I was checking it on the right page/website.

    Now in an anxious bid to find out what's going on, whilst being reluctant and unsure if I would be right to pay the $39, I went to another site ( and paid £9 to check my status. I'm waiting for the email from them to find the result.

    A quick google shows that its a third party website that are genuine, people have travelled on ESTAs received through them, its just that they charge people more to fill out the ESTA (though I never did that with them). However, it seems that they were actually cheaper for the checking service. So now I'm wondering, are they genuine? Do I need to go ahead and pay the $39 and check on the official site? And why is there this charge - how is that fair that I have to pay extra when I've already paid? Am I looking in the right place to check?!

    Please help! I travel on 23rd April, have a completely clean record and thought it would go through no problems, but I'm panicking now!
    Last edited by supersezzie; 10-04-2018 at 6:06 PM.
Page 1
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 10th Apr 18, 6:14 PM
    • 8,470 Posts
    • 13,517 Thanks
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:14 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:14 PM
    The official website is here
    There is no charge to check an application and you can check at any time and as many times as you like.
    72 hours is the maximum time it should take to get a decision on a pending application, but they are often authorised within a few minutes.

    There is no reason to pay any more than $14 for an application or any amount at all to check.
    Last edited by jackieblack; 10-04-2018 at 6:18 PM.
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    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 10th Apr 18, 6:18 PM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,676 Thanks
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:18 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:18 PM

    There should be no further fee to pay.
    • bagand96
    • By bagand96 10th Apr 18, 6:19 PM
    • 2,930 Posts
    • 1,841 Thanks
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:19 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:19 PM
    $39 to check the status?! It's free to check the status on the official site and takes seconds.

    With regards to the site you've paid £9 to check the status.... all they will do is take the details you've given them and go to the official site (Jackie has linked above) and enter them. Then email you. It'll take them seconds.... easy money if you can get it! It wont cause you any issues though other than you may as well have set fire to a tenner!
    • debsy42
    • By debsy42 10th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    • 1,636 Posts
    • 9,153 Thanks
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    When we applied in January our status was initially pending but on checking half hour later it had been approved, can't believe yours has taken this long. You need to go back and check as others have suggested on the official website and make sure you have the correct reference number.
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    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 10th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    • 554 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
    I have never heard of the $39 check although my families applications have gone through successfully even taking a couple of days after pending.

    You are correct you have gone through a third party web site, you didn't need to do that but if it gives you the result and confirmation you require well only £9 I suppose.

    When you checked the official site did you make a note of the application number and have entered all the details correctly when checking?
    • supersezzie
    • By supersezzie 10th Apr 18, 6:56 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:56 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 6:56 PM
    Thank you folks! Turns out I was being a douche, trying to check it on what I thought was the same official site, but it was in fact this one:

    Still, better to be a £9 douche than a $39 dollar douche! So I checked it instantly, and for free (I had saved the number!) and it's approved...WAHOOO! So all's well that ends well!

    Thanks for your help folks! I'm surprised I let myself get duped by two websites! I'm normally pretty good at this and spent some time googling it to find the official site and trying to find the way to check for free, but for whatever reason I kept going to that other one instead, and in my memory it looked the same as when I applied! Should have come here before paying my £9. D'oh.

    Oh well.
    • Margaret Mc
    • By Margaret Mc 18th Apr 18, 2:40 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Margaret Mc
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 2:40 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 2:40 PM
    I am now retired and haven't worked for 11 years what do I put for the employment details on an ESTA
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 18th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • 3,369 Posts
    • 2,411 Thanks
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    Isn't "retired" or "none" an option? If not, your last job. Sorry, it's a few years since I filled one in & can't remember what I put!
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • Margaret Mc
    • By Margaret Mc 18th Apr 18, 4:55 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Margaret Mc
    It asks do you have a current or previous employer, only a YES or NO option - current no as retired but previous yes - 11 years ago - and then asks for the information on your employer but not the date you left. My husband was self employed and retired 7 years ago but there isn't an option for self employed HELP!
    Last edited by Margaret Mc; 18-04-2018 at 4:56 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
    • photome
    • By photome 18th Apr 18, 5:15 PM
    • 13,749 Posts
    • 9,262 Thanks
    answer honestly and you cant go wrong

    you have a previous employer so does your husband (himself)

    If it doesnt ask the date you left it isnt a problem as you have already answered its a previous employer
    • Marmaduke123
    • By Marmaduke123 18th Apr 18, 6:51 PM
    • 457 Posts
    • 423 Thanks
    Yes, it's very poorly designed isn't it. I put "retired xxxx". My last employer was a now defunct NHS body, so I put their address at the time I retired, even though they don't exist now. It all went through OK.
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