Passport and Visa Requirements for entering the USA
USA ENTRY INFORMATION
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is administered by DHS and enables eligible citizens or nationals of designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.
Citizens or nationals of the following countries are currently eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP:
Republic of Korea
NOTE: The new countries of Curacao, Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba and St Maarten (from the former Netherland Antilles) are not eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program if they are applying for admission with the passports from these countries. *British citizens only with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Travel under the VWP is restricted to travelers possessing passports with specified security features. All VWP travelers must have a machine-readable passport. In addition, depending on when VWP travelers’ passports were issued, other passport requirements apply: • Nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Slovakia require passports with an integrated chip containing the information from the data page. • Nationals of other VWP countries: - Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after 10/26/06: Passports must also have integrated chips with information from the data page. - Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended between 10/26/05 and 10/25/06: passports must have digital photographs printed on the data page or integrated chips with information from the data page. - Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended before 10/26/05: no further requirements. Please refer to the Visa Waiver Program traveler guide on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) web site for additional details on passport requirements.
- All travellers from Visa Waiver Programme countries (inc the UK) arriving by sea or air into the USA, need to complete an ESTA. However, travellers crossing land borders from either Canada or Mexico, will also be required to complete an additional, separate I-94W Immigration form, irrespective of the fact that they may already be registered with ESTA and for which a charge of $6 per traveller may be applicable.
- ESTA applications should be submitted as soon as travel arrangements are made. It is recommended that the application is submitted at least 72 hours before departure, however the system will accommodate last minute travel. You can apply directly from the ESTA site.
The ESTA is valid for a period of 2 years from the date of approval unless the traveller’s passport expires during that period in which case a new ESTA application is required. From September 8th 2010 onwards, a charge of US $14 applies for each ESTA and can be paid for using major credit cards. Traveller’s should be aware that no other charges apply for completion of an ESTA. However several official looking websites offer ESTA services for which an unnecessary charge is made. These sites are not approved by the US Government and should be avoided at all times.
Cititzen of countries outside of the Visa Waiver Program will require a non immigrant visa to enter the United States. Please refer to the website of the US Embassy of your country for more information about visas.