For months, I was looking forward to my U.S. trip. This is not my first time to travel to the US. I had a multiple entry Visa in my then Philippine passport, which I used to travel to the US before.
After I changed my Nationality to German, I traveled to the US again in 2010 without any problems.
This time, the US government revoked my ESTA-without giving any reasons.
I only wanted to visit friends and relatives in the US. I never planned to overstay. I have no plans to look for a job in the US nor breach my allowed number of days of stay in the US.
You see, I have a life here in Europe. I have no reason to transfer to the US. Not even because a part of my family lives there. I just wanted to go visit my mom and some friends.
I only wanted to see the ever popular New Orleans-French quarter. I only wanted to see the NASA in Orlando, Florida.
The preparations I made to be able to meet my friends whom I have not seen for more than a decade. The trouble that my friends also had to go through just so they could also get a vacation from work just to see me and another friend flying in from Australia around the same time. All that changed one day before my departure.
My inland flight bookings are non-reimbursable. A policy of a US carrier- not even because of VISA reasons. Nope – – – NO pardon!
The shock I got from the surprise is still eating me until now.
I went to check in my bags the night before departure. My boarding pass was not printed by the machine.
So I went to the counter help desk to ask for my BP to be reprinted, only to find out – to my utter shock that my ESTA status has changed from “Authorization to travel APPROVED” to “NOT AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL”.
I have all the hotel and car rentals bookings made. Flight from New Orleans to Orlando was all confirmed weeks in advance. I went in panic mode.
The Lufthansa check in agent was very helpful and checked everything for me. All was in order, she said. No error was made in the application. No discrepancies were found between the application form and my passport. In short, every detail was correctly entered. So, what went wrong?
The LH check-in agent, made a phone queries to the proper representatives who might be able to help us get some answers – but all to nothing it went..
They also verified that the status of my ESTA has changed. But did not give out the reason why? They then advised that either I apply again another ESTA or get a VISA from the embassy. The ESTA would be quicker—but I had several questions that unfortunately no one could give me an answer to.
ON top of my list is:
1.) What was the reason why my ESTA was revoked??
2.) If and when I do submit again online another ESTA application, what are the chances that I would get an Authorization to travel?
3.) Then of course, the risk that I am taking if I fly and overnight during the flight they would tell me again that the ESTA status changed and I that I am not allowed to step on American grounds? Logically thinking, I believe I would I be deported and sent on the next flight back to FRA.
4.) If I do apply for a VISA which would probably not take more than a week, what are the chances that it be would approved to let me travel to US territory? I mean, it doesn’t make sense that they don’t let me step on US grounds under the Visa waiver program but would allow me to enter the US with a VISA. WHY??? It is practically the same. The Visa waiver just saves me the time and effort to go the the US embassy and obtain a VISA since I can get the ESTA comfortably from anywhere else with an internet connection. In both cases, I can then travel to the US with either an approved ESTA or a VISUM.
It’s now been two days. Two days of my much awaited vacation in the US gone to the stress of trying to fix the problem. A problem that I couldn’t actually ever begin to resolve since I don’t know what the reason was why my ESTA status was changed.
NOPE, I did not bother to write a complaint—since if they revoked an ESTA without giving any reasons, it just proves that they don’t actually care.
Nobody would give a minute of their time to give me answers – because they don’t feel obliged to give me a reason.
Not even like: Och! it’s nothing personal, we just don’t want you here in America! Nope NOT here in the LAND of The FREE…