First thing you will have to do when you start planning out your trip to the United States is to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This will give you permission to travel in the United States. You will not be able to board any flight to the US without it. This e-pass is obtainable on the official website only: esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
These ESTA e-passes are valid for two years and after that you will be required to re-apply for a new one should you wish to benefit from them.
The possibility of your ESTA application getting rejected is not a big one but it can happen. If by chance you are not eligible to one of the clearly defined reasons then you will be denied entry.
Entry is Not Guaranteed if ESTA is Successful
It should be known that ESTA is only a pre-clearance for you to travel to the United States and it will not ensure you will be admitted as soon as the plane lands. This does not mean it’s useless but it should be considered a good start. The majority of British visitors in the US are permitted via the Visa Waiver Program, this includes 38 countries of which the majority are European. This will allow for a 90 days stay assuming it’s a holiday trip or a small business commitment. This will not cover any paid employment trips for which a different type of visa will be required.
Reasons for a Visa to be Denied
Generally, if you are eligible for a visa and have applied for the right category, the reasons why you would get rejected might include overstaying in a previous visit or not having the right amount of funds needed to cover the cost of staying in the US. Visas might also be rejected if the applicant is considered to have a disease which represents of a public health risk. More serious reasons will include a criminal conviction or if you’re considered a member associated with various groups which endorse or espouse any sort of terrorist activities.
If you denied entry under the VWP you should know there is little chance for an appeal but should a return flight be booked then you will be allowed to fly home safely.
Travel Insurance In Case of Denied Entry
It is unlikely that a travel insurance will cover the cost of the trip if you’ll be denied entry to your destination. This is quite a rare situation and as such insurance policies will most likely not envisage them. This should however be checked by your insurer prior to leaving as they will most likely provide more accurate information. More information regarding the ESTA USA visas can be found here.