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ESTA BLOG

Find helpful blog articles here related to the Visa Waiver Program, ESTA and travel to the USA

Visa Waiver Program Biometrics
16Jun2017

Biometric Screening and the Visa Waiver Program

Biometrics are already used effectively with people visiting the USA with visas, but of course when people travel with ESTA, under the Visa Waiver Program, the whole point of this system is that they do not need to apply for a visa.
 
So what are we talking about here? The term ‘biometrics’ simply refers to metrics, or measurements, that are based on human characteristics. This concept already has a wide range of applications in modern society; just… READ MORE
ESTA info
02Jun2017

The VWP conditions are important: Here’s why...

Last week, the US Department of Homeland Security released its annual report on people who overstay the amount of time they were authorised to be in the USA.

This report provides specific figures on how many people were expected to depart the country during 2016 on the basis of their travel authorisation. This is divided broadly into people travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme, and people who are not travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (i.e. people travelling… READ MORE
05May2017

Your passport and your ESTA – an inseparable couple

As a British citizen you are eligible to apply for ESTA online, which is the quickest and easiest method for getting into the United States as a tourist or on business. ESTA is an automatic, electronic form of travel authorisation, which waives the need for a visa.

This system has been in place for many years now, and is at a point where there are 38 participating countries. Having slowly changed and developed over time, the ESTA visa… READ MORE
01May2017

The Story behind the Stars and Stripes

Could you picture the US flag with your eyes closed? Probably, more or less. But would you be able draw it from scratch, with no reference? Hmm, perhaps not (granted – England has it a little easier). Do you know the nooks and crannies of the story that led to its design?
 
Well many of us will never have seen any variation to the current US flag, which has been left unchanged since 1960. Two years earlier,… READ MORE
27Apr2017

Catch a taping in the USA

There’s something iconic about US sitcoms, with often what sounds like canned laughter at all-too-frequent intervals. However, that’s not always the case; when sitcoms are filmed, there is normally a live audience there, who are simply told when to laugh/boo/chuckle/aww, etc. The canned laughter (also known as fake laughter) is normally only used when necessary; if the real laughter on the day did not go on long enough, or was too quiet, etc. Interestingly, to record canned laughter itself, audiences… READ MORE
01Mar2017

Will Americans need visas to come to Europe?

As it stands, members of Visa Waiver Programme member countries are able to apply for ESTA online. ESTA stands for the ‘Electronic System for Travel Authorisation’, and citizens apply for this on an individual basis – if they meet the criteria (and the vast majority do), they are allowed to visit the USA without needing to apply for a visa. The UK is very much in this category, and was the first country to participate in the Visa Waiver Programme… READ MORE
02Feb2017

UK citizens with dual nationality: travelling to the USA

As you probably know, the United Kingdom forms part of the Visa Waiver Program, which allows its citizens to visit the USA with an ESTA authorisation (which stands for the ‘Electronic System for Travel Authorisation’). The ESTA can be only be applied for online, making it a much quicker and simpler process than the traditional US visa application process.
 
When you fill in your online ESTA application form, there is a tick box that asks you whether… READ MORE
10Jan2017

Big Sur: Where the mountains meet the sea

The Big Sur makes for a fantastic component of any California trip, and can be very easily explored with a rental car and a few days to spare. As a British citizen, you can apply for ESTA online, which is alternative travel authorisation to the traditional US visa. ESTA allows you to visit the USA as a tourist or on business for periods of up to 90 days at a time, and lasts for up to two years.
  … READ MORE
16Dec2016

2017 will welcome new flight routes to the USA

Thanks to the Visa Waiver Programme, British citizens are able to apply for ESTA online, which means we no longer have to go through the tedious process of applying for a traditional US visa.
When it comes to flying to the USA, there is already an ample selection of flight destinations, with many airlines operating to and fro. Nevertheless, it can sometimes feel as though this choice is slightly restricted, either by price, or by the need for layovers… READ MORE
02Dec2016

Ten things you should know about the ESTA and the VWP

As UK citizens, we can travel to the USA without the need to apply for a visa thanks to the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead of a visa, Brits can travel to the United States using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, or ‘ESTA’. Despite being a simple process, many travellers are unsure exactly how the Visa Waiver Programme works, and what exactly the ESTA is.
 
 

1. The ESTA is not a visa

 
When… READ MORE
02Dec2016

Will the Visa Waiver Program change under Trump?

In the run-up to November’s presidential election, many claims were made on both sides of the fence with respect to how the country would be run as of next year. One of the comments that caught our attention came from President-Elect Trump, as he discussed his thoughts on the Visa Waiver Programme: as part of his strong stance on borders, he called for the programme to be ended.
 
So, could Trump’s presidency result in policy changes that… READ MORE
07Nov2016

Looking for a DIY road trip with a difference?

Once you’ve got your ESTA travel authorisation sorted, here’s what you can do if you have just 10 days to spare…

First of all, consider your season. Did you know that whilst November in Britain is pretty much guaranteed to be dull and wet (not to mention short on evening light), over there in the South West of the USA they are basking in sunny days long enough - and cool enough - for all your best sight…

READ MORE
28Oct2016

The odd fascination that Americans have with the British… and vice versa

Remember, as a British citizen, you can travel to the USA without the need for a visa thanks to the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead of the lengthy visa application process, you can simply apply for ESTA online, and be approved for travel within just 24 hours. So, now is a better time than ever to really participate in this curious cross-cultural intrigue…
 
So what are we talking about here? Well, have you heard an American imitate a… READ MORE
13Oct2016

5 of the Best US National Parks to Visit this Autumn

As summer gradually fades out across the northern hemisphere, many parts of the USA are now transforming into a beautiful autumnal scene. This period of change is almost like a welcome ritual to British visitors seeking post-summer prices and pre-winter cold! Undoubtedly one of the best times of year to visit the USA, British visitors can easily travel to the USA thanks to the Visa Waiver Programme.

Under the Visa Waiver Programme, citizens from the UK, as well… READ MORE
28Sep2016

Oktoberfest, American style!

Under the Visa Waiver Programme, you can visit the USA as a tourist with ESTA authorisation, avoiding the need for a traditional US visa. Though Germany may be closer, the diversity and scale of Oktoberfest in the USA is an experience in itself, and thanks to the ability to travel to the USA with ESTA, there’s no reason not to give it a go.

Originally dating back to a Royal Wedding in the early nineteenth century, Oktoberfest is… READ MORE