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I have an approved ESTA with my destination address set to CA. I am hoping to change my travel plans to FL instead. However, my flight into the U.S. from the United Emirates is still entering through CA airpot (LAX), which means I will have to pass through U.S. Customs in CA.

Would CBP officers permit me to enter the United States even though my intended address is in FL, rather than CA (where I enter the U.S.)?

Are CBP officers rejecting ESTAs during time of COVID? Would the fact that CA is COVID-crazy decrease my chances of getting permitted to enter the U.S.?

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Are CBP officers rejecting ESTAs during time of COVID?

Apparently, if you attempt to fly to the United States from or through a country that is subject to the COVID travel restrictions, the system will automatically cancel the ESTA and indicate to the airline that you may not board the airplane. In that case you will never encounter a CBP official.

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  • Noted. So this means that if the airline allows you to board, (and you have a clean background history) the CBP officers will give you entry once you arrive (with an approved ESTA). – Unconventional Wisdom Dec 24 '20 at 14:41
  • @NovelVentures Yes, that's correct. If flying nonstop from the UAE, no restrictions apply to you. So your ESTA will remain intact – Crazydre Dec 24 '20 at 14:50
  • I’m reasonably confident that my ESTA will stay intact since I am flying straight from UAE. However, I’ve been hearing stories of CBP officers still turning people with approved ESTAs away at the border? – Unconventional Wisdom Dec 24 '20 at 14:53
  • @NovelVenturesa no, ESTA is no guarantee of entry. If the immigration officer decides that you don't meet the criteria for entry then you won't be getting in. – phoog Dec 24 '20 at 22:48
  • @Crazydre it's absolutely not correct. A VWP traveler can be denied entry for any of dozens of reasons. Having a valid ESTA only eliminates the possibility of being denied for not having a valid ESTA. Under the conditions you describe, for example, if the traveler indicates presence in a restricted country that wasn't apparent from the itinerary, the traveler could be denied even though the ESTA was not automatically cancelled. – phoog Dec 24 '20 at 22:49
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Your ESTA is valid for two years, for multiple travels, and neither the date nor the location you used when applying are of relevance.
Aside from potential COVID restrictions (which I don't know), you can fly with it to any place in the US, at any time (within the two years).

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