Thousands of Dutch people have had to postpone travel plans to the US

Thousands of Dutch people have had to postpone travel plans to the US

VisaBuitenland.nl says the 700,000 Dutch people who travel to the US each year are worried about a new security measure delaying the approval of travel permits.

Passport scans cause problems
From November 29, 2022, providing a passport scan is mandatory to apply for ESTA. ESTA is a mandatory travel permit for Dutch citizens to travel to the United States. Before November 29, ESTA applications were approved within hours. However, thousands of applications are rejected every day as submission of passport scan is mandatory. Often for no apparent reason. This causes huge problems for the hundreds of thousands of Dutch people who travel to America every year.

Countless ESTA applications have been rejected due to the new measure
An obligation to provide a passport scan with the ESTA application has been introduced to prevent errors in the application. The US Immigration Service’s automated system scans personal data from the machine-readable portion of the passport. This is to ensure that wrong passport details are not entered in the online application form. However, instead of improving the application process, this new system leads to many rejections. Pleun Leijten, Customer Relations Manager at VisaBuitenland.nl, sees his team facing unprecedented challenges: “I estimate that more than 60% of all passport scans submitted to VisaBuitenland.nl are rejected . Many travelers who have tried this on their own have already told us that they had to rebook or cancel their trip.

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