United States Bound Travelers Should Check Their ESTA: Cancellation Message On CBP Website!

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The United States Customs & Border Protection has published a warning message on their website that the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) has been voided for various travelers.

ESTA holders should check if the status of their application and if they possibly need to re-apply before their next trip to the U.S.A. commences.

The ESTA website can be accessed here:

In accordance with Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus, effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020, the entry into the United States is suspended for most individuals, other than United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, who have been physically present within the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, or the Republic of Ireland within 14 days of travel to the United States. Proclamation 9993 regarding travel from a Schengen Area country also remains in effect.

Any traveler with a valid ESTA who is subject to the Proclamation and who attempts to travel the United States in violation of the Proclamation will have their ESTA canceled. ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to this Proclamation.

Travelers who have questions about whether they are subject to, or exempted from, the Proclamation should refer to the Proclamation language, and consult with the U.S. Department of State and the air carrier, as appropriate, in advance of travel to avoid travel disruptions. Proclamation 9984 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk), Proclamation 9992 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus), and Proclamation 9993 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus) all remain in effect.

Note that this warning doesn’t say that ESTA’s are being cancelled outright but that this affects only travelers who attempt to fly to the U.S. and get turned away.

I checked one of the ESTA applications in my family and it’s still active:

This is for a German passport so there is no widespread cancellation of all ESTA applications from Europe (yet).

Personally I use a U.S. visa so I can’t speak from personal experience, let alone planning to travel to North America right now. I could if I wanted to but no thanks, better to stay put in Asia.

Conclusion

At the moment there is a travel restriction either way so I assume this is a warning for people to not attempt trying any illegitimate tricks such as flying to the U.S. through third countries (such as Mexico) to circumvent the restriction.

Have you noticed something unusual with your ESTA status?

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