I got my British passport on 19 September, 2022. My birth country is Afghanistan. I applied for the ESTA to go to the United States to visit my family and they keep telling me I am not authorised to travel to the United States. Whatever the questions is, I answered all the questions right still can't get approved.

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    If you can not get your ESTA approved, you can apply for a visa and may well get it. Keeping filling out the same form will not give other results.
    – Willeke
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 13:13
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    This question seems to imply you've tried different answers. Don't do that! If you're refused after your first try, don't repeatedly try but instead seek a resolution through the systems available to you. If you change your answers to "pass" that is grounds for refusal. Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 15:47
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    @JackAidley makes a very good point, but I would go a bit farther: If you're refused after your first try, don't repeatedly try but instead follow the advice of the US government and apply for a visitor visa.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 2:09
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    I really appreciate you guys thanks for helpful advices
    – Mansaar
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 1:59

3 Answers 3


Your birth country may be (is likely to be) the reason, British citizenship does not guarantee approval.

If a traveler is denied ESTA and his or her circumstances have not changed, a new application will also be denied. You have no option but to apply for a nonimmigrant visa if you want to go to the US.

See eg ESTA - Application denied


It's almost always because of one of these three reasons:

  1. The most obvious reason, and can get you in trouble, plus banned from entering forever, and that is lying, or falsifying information.

  2. The most common reason is that when you make a mistake on the ESTA application somewhere. They ask for a lot of little details, and a wrong dash, or single forgotten letter can lead to denial. My French friend was denied entry because an i looked like an l, which is absurd, but it's the way it works. It also took her two years to figure that out. Really it's ridiculous how picky they are.

  3. This is the most likely reason. You spent time in a country/region where you were you may have been introduced to radical religious beliefs, or may met people from a terrorist organization. They don't clearly say that this is a reason, but it's pretty obvious if you read US official documentation on the ESTA. The United States takes security extremely seriously since September 11th of 2001.

It's not uncommon for someone to be denied an ESTA, and to get in on a visa, however, visas can take a long time to get.

My advice is start the visa process A.S.A.P.


There are many possible reasons for rejection. For one, having a UK passport is not enough unless you also "have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man." You also may not have traveled to Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011. (See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html) There may be other factors.

But whatever you do, do not try to reapply by concealing or changing any information that you think may have been a problem on previous tries, unless you can clearly explain why the previous information was incorrect.

You need to get a reading on your specific circumstances from the US State Department (try your nearest consulate) or apply for a visa.

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    How can a British citizen not have "the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man"? Looking at gov.uk/right-of-abode it seems like anyone with British citizenship automatically has that, so I don't understand why the US government feels the need to specify that requirement for British citizens.
    – user131219
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 14:12
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    There are people who hold British passports who don't have the right of abode, which is why the State Dept makes this disclaimer. But this is not applicable to OP since they have stated in the title they are a British Citizen.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 14:20
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    Note, I'm not suggesting that the US restriction makes sense, or if so, why - just that it is the stated position. I'm figuring the OP can best find out how it applies. I see the original question, as currently edited, says "I got my British passport," not "I became a UK citizen." I'm not going to interpret that.
    – SteveG23
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 14:43
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    @user131219 The UK considers not all British passport holders to be British citizens. But the typical understanding of citizenship implies that a British passport holder must be a British citizen. It's not an error on the part of the State Dept. per se, just a difference in terminology.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 15:48
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    @FelixDombek gov.uk/types-of-british-nationality
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 0:24

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