You must have an e-Passport to travel to the US
All passengers travelling to the US on the Visa Waiver / ESTA programme from 1 April 2016 must have an e-Passport which contains an electronic chip.
You should see a symbol on the front if you have an e-Passport.
If you don't have one you will not be permitted to travel.
What is an ESTA?
To make your visit to the United States, you must either travel under the country’s Visa Waiver programme (with an ‘ESTA’), or have a US visa (or be a US citizen, of course).
An ESTA allows you to stay in the US under the Visa Waiver programme for up to 90 days and allows travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.
An ESTA is valid for two years, (or less if your passport expires in that time).
Countries applicable for the Visa Waiver Programme
If you're from one of the following countries you can travel under this programme unless
If this applies to you you'll still be able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process via the US embassies or consulates (contact details below), but you'll no longer be able to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme (ESTA).
If you need a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, the U.S. embassies and consulates will be on hand to process applications on an expedited basis.
If you already hold an Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA) and you previously indicated that you have dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on your ESTA application, your ESTA will no longer be valid.
|Austria||Ireland||Republic of Korea|
If you don’t come from one of these countries, you’ll need to apply for a visa via the US Embassy.
ESTA Application Requirements:
To obtain your ESTA:
Apply for an ESTA Direct with US Homeland Security:
You can apply for your ESTA directly with US Homeland security, at a charge of $14. Useful information about your ESTA application:
Opening hours: Mon to Fri, 08.30 - 17.30
Telephone: 0207 499 9000