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General Chat Thread, Visiting USA in General; Im off to the US for a couple of days.. Not been since I was 14 or something.. what has ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Visiting USA

    Im off to the US for a couple of days.. Not been since I was 14 or something.. what has changed now with regards to visa/etc before I go?

    Do I need to send them my fingerprints / DNA / Retina scan before I can get a visa?

    Im sure I read something recently about something changing?

    Anyone been recently?

    (PS. Im flying from AU -> US on a UK Passport)

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    you on a working visa in Au ? Or you there permanently ?

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    If you are just going for a few days as a tourist you don't need a visa, since as a UK national you should be eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (same for Australian nationals too, but it's your nationality that counts, not where you fly from). The only common gotcha is that you must have at least 6 months beyond your expected stay in the US left on your passport.

    You will need to complete the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form online before you travel. The thing you may have read about changing is that ESTA will soon attract a small fee, but at the moment it is still free, and once done the authorisation lasts for two years, so do it ASAP.

    You will have your photograph and fingerprints taken electronically at immigration when you arrival, as well a half-dozen questions by a polite but stern official who has had a humour bypass.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 27th May 2010 at 08:31 AM.

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    sippo's Avatar
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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    You need one of the new style passports with a micro-chip in it.

    Citizens of the Uk do not require a visa in advance: Embassy of the U.S. London: Visa Waiver Program

    Details about the Visa Waiver Program
    You will qualify for travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, or Switzerland:

    traveling on a valid, full validity, machine readable or e-passport with an electronic chip. Please check the validity of your passport by following this link. The date on which your passport was issued is an important factor in determining whether your passport will be acceptable for visa-free travel. The failure to determine that your passport qualifies for the VWP may result in you being denied boarding by the airline.

    Note: A passport indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen, or British Protected Person does not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom does not qualify for visa free travel;

    For business, pleasure or transit only;

    Staying in the United States for 90 days or less;




    Plus, if entering the United States by air or sea is,



    Holding a return or onward ticket. If traveling on an electronic ticket, a copy of the itinerary must be carried for presentation to U.S. immigration at the port of entry. Note: Travelers with onward tickets terminating in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean Islands must be legal permanent residents of these areas;

    Entering the United States aboard an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the program. This includes aircraft of a U.S. corporation that has entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to carry passengers under the Visa Waiver Program. Note: Other private or official aircraft or vessels do not meet this requirement; and

    In possession of a completed form I-94W, obtainable from airline and shipping companies;

    Or, if entering the United States by land from Canada or Mexico,

    Is in possession of a completed form I-94W, issued by the immigration authorities at the port of entry, and a $6.00 fee, payable only in U.S. dollars.

    To assist you in determining if you may travel under the Visa Waiver Program we have constructed a Visa Waiver Wizard.



    Important: Some travelers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the VWP. These include people who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, those with criminal records, (the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to U.S. visa law), certain serious communicable illnesses, those who have been refused admission into, or have been deported from, the United States, or have previously overstayed on the VWP. Such travelers must apply for special restricted visas. If they attempt to travel without a visa, they may be refused entry into the United States.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Hmm.. Ive only got an old school passport without the chip. Do I need to get a new passport just to go to the USA?

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Yes, sorry!

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    hmm. I dont think I have time..

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Damn, I'd forgotten about that requirement.

    Applying for a UK passport in Australia

    3-4 weeks they say, and the passport office is in New Zealand so you;d be applying by post!

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    hmm. I dont think I have time..
    More digging on the US embassy Website: Embassy of the U.S. London: Machine Readable and Biometric Passports

    Visa free travelers, including children, entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) require individual machine-readable passports (MRP). This requirement has been in place since October 26, 2004.

    If the passport was issued, renewed/extended between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 it must contain a digital photograph.

    If the passport was issued, renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006, it must be electronic. Electronic passports include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information. Follow this link for an example of such a passport: http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/programs...mage_0021.shtm .

    Temporary and emergency passports must meet the electronic passport requirement
    Compare what you have with the details on this website and , if you are still not sure, give your local US embassy a ring for the difinitive answer.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Hmm.. Mine was issued June 06.. Machine readable just means the barcode stuff I take it??

    Hmm.. I have no idea mine is a digital photograph or not??

    Will give them a ring tomorrow..

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    I went 5 years ago, and my passport has not got an electronic chip in it and was fine. Had barcode with maroon coloured book.

    Digital photopgraph? don't think so just looks like a copy of my passport style photo laminated!

    They just took a fingerprint scan, and photo upon arrival.

    Also had to complete the ESTA Form online beforehand.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    machine readable passport = a passport from 2002 onwards. I checked with the US Embassy as I am going in August

  14. #14

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    sorry to hijack how long is the flight from SYD? What airport are you going to and how much please?

    thanks

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    You will have your photograph and fingerprints taken electronically at immigration when you arrival, as well a half-dozen questions by a polite but stern official who has had a humour bypass.
    When they ask you if you are a terrorist you must always answer no! I am serious!

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