Important Information For USA Travellers
There are now a number of very important requirements for people visiting America to comply with.
We've outlined full USA entry requirements on this page, plus there are links to sites with
more information if needed. To avoid any disappointment when arriving in America, please read
all these sections carefully to ensure you comply with US entry requirements:
USA – Entry Requirements Quick Checklist for all passengers:
Please read in conjunction with the information below:
- You must have a valid machine readable or biometric passport
- You must be eligible for the Visa Waiver Programme or apply for a visa (visit: www.usembassy.org.uk)
- Log onto your airlines or tour operators website and complete your Advanced Passenger Information. - This requires your passport details and 1st nights address in the US.
- Log onto the US official website ‘ESTA’ at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Apply for authorisation to travel.
From 12th January 2009, everyone travelling into America must have, before travelling, completed a brand new internet-based registration form.
Called "Electronic System for Travel Authorisation", or ESTA for short, this is a US Customs & Passport Control entry requirement and must therefore be completed in order to visit the USA (or transit through the USA). US Immigration may well refuse you entry at border control if you do not complete the online form.
How to Register Through ESTA
This ESTA system has been introduced in addition to the existing Visa Waiver
The system is web based only and requires all passengers (including infants) travelling via or to the USA to apply for 'authority to travel' a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel. Effective from 12 January 2009, ESTA is compulsory. You may be denied boarding or refused entry to the US if you have not registered and obtained authorisation using ESTA. To apply for this new travel authorisation:
More Information on US Entry Requirements
This new ESTA system has been introduced in addition to the existing Visa Waiver Programme.
To avoid any disappointment when arriving in America, please read all these sections carefully to ensure you comply with US entry requirements:
British passport holders travelling to the USA (or via the USA) are required to have either individual machine-readable passports or biometric passports. (If you need to check your passport we recommend you contact the UK Passport Office). Families will be required to obtain individual passports for each traveller including all children.
Visa Waiver Programme (VWP)
If you have a machine readable or Biometric passport you should be able to qualify for travel (of up to 90 days) without a visa, under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). That is, provided no one in your party has ever been arrested (even if not convicted), or if suffering from a serious communicable disease (visit the US Embassy web site for details of all restrictions).
For travellers who qualify for travel under the VWP, important details on obtaining travel authorisation are outlined below.
Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
It is very important that you complete your ESTA application using the exact address as displayed on the documentation you receive from your Airline/Operator. (If you have booked a flight only or the address of your accommodation is confirmed on arrival, please use our resort office address as stated on your holiday invoice/tickets). Your Airline or Tour Operator will be providing accommodation details for all passengers to the US Immigration authorities after you have departed to America. If there are any differences between the Tour Operator/Airline information compared to what you have written on your ESTA registration, then you may be denied entry into the USA. We recommend that you carry your ESTA approval with you when you travel. For additional information on travel to the US visit the US Embassy web site.
Please note that the ESTA system is up and running now, and is compulsory for all visitors travelling to any American destinations who will arrive at their American destination on or after 12th January 2009.
Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS)
Tour Operators and Airlines are required to transmit details of the full address of your destination accommodation and country of residence and your passport details to the U.S authorities prior to the departure of flights to comply with US security requirements. This requirement is separate to ESTA even though the information required is very similar.
If you have booked travel arrangements or a package holiday with a Thomas Cook group tour operator – this includes: Thomas Cook, Airtours, Sunset, Direct Holidays, Manos, Panorama, Neilson, Club 18-30, Airfares or Flythomascook, you must provide the required security information on the website:www.thomascookapi.com
The Advanced Passenger Information must be provided between 3 months and 7 days before departure.
If you have booked a Thomson or First Choice holiday, please visit http://eapi.thomson.co.uk
For holidays with Cosmos or Monarch please visit Monarch’s website.
For holidays with Flexibletrips on charter flights, please refer to your confirmation invoice for details of the relevant website to provide your details.
For all scheduled airlines please visit the airlines website to provide the airline with your advanced passenger information.
We recommend the lead passenger on your booking takes responsibility for completing the information on behalf of all other passengers on your booking. It is important the information collected by Tour Operators and Airlines as part of Advanced Passenger Information is the same as the information you have submitted under ESTA as any differences may delay or prevent your entry to the USA.
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