Should I travel with an ESTA or a Visa? 2019

The United States is well-known for being a melting pot of people and cultures from around the planet. Indeed, as a ‘new-world’ country, its very range of societies today is a result of this historic crossover of people. And today, the country remains one of the most popular choices of destination for citizens around the world, as a tourist spot, or to live, study or work.

As UK citizens, it is very easy to visit the United States… READ MORE
ESTA Updates

The US imposes new requirements for Visa Waiver countries in 2019

As part of ongoing changes within the Trump administration, the USA is looking to tighten its border and enhance travel security on the whole. As a result, this has led to new requirements for Visa Waiver countries.
These requirements primarily involve greater sharing of information and more stringent monitoring of threats, in line with consistent strengthening of security measures in the United States.
Visa Waiver countries are states that are members of the ‘Visa Waiver Program’.… READ MORE
ESTA VWP Signatory Carrier

What is a VWP Signatory Carrier and how does it work with ESTA?

As you may know already, citizens of some 38 countries can apply for ESTA, which avoids the need for a visa when visiting the USA. The United Kingdom is one of these countries, vastly facilitating travel to the USA for many of its citizens.
The ESTA – the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation – falls under the rubric of the Visa Waiver Program, which is what allows certain travellers to visit the United States without a visa,… READ MORE
VWP Laptop Ban

Security measures and ESTA when travelling with a laptop

Thanks to portability and an increasingly digitised world, more and more passengers take their laptops with them when travelling abroad. There has been a lot of discussion about laptops on flights recently, so here we will clarify what’s going on and what you need to know. Remember, if you are travelling to the USA as a British citizen, the first thing you will need to do is make sure you have a valid ESTA. We’ll come back to this, but… READ MORE
ESTA Travel Ban

What you need to know about the updated travel ban

As of 18 October, new US travel restrictions will be added to those currently in force, as part of the ‘travel ban’ that has been implemented throughout the year.
Citizens of countries that from part of the Visa Waiver Program will not be affected by these new measures, but it is important to take them into account if you are a national of any of the countries included in these restrictions.
The new measures enforce travel… READ MORE
Labour Day VWP

Labour day and summer’s end in the USA with ESTA

As the end of summer is around the corner, many of us are only just getting round to our long-awaited holidays. The USA being a hugely popular destination for British tourists, the only thing you need for your American adventure is an ESTA, making it an easy getaway during the build-up to Autumn.
The end of August and start of September are a fantastic time of year to travel for those who are able to do so. This… READ MORE
ESTA Canada Mexico

Visiting Canada or Mexico after arriving in the US under the VWP

If you’re crossing the Atlantic and going all the way to the USA from Britain, it’s often quite tempting to make the most of the journey and explore the neighbouring countries. So how do you go about taking a trip to Canada or Mexico from the USA?

As a UK passport holder you can apply to visit the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme, using the ‘Electronic System for Travel Authorisation’, or ‘ESTA’ as it’s more commonly known.… READ MORE
esta what is next

So you’ve applied for ESTA… What now?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application process is carried out entirely online, and only takes around 10 to 15 minutes. The only thing you need to have to hand is your passport and a method of payment. You can check out our other blog articles and our ESTA guide for more information on how to fill out the form, but here we’re going to look at what happens next.
Once you have submitted your ESTA application,… READ MORE
VWP Travel

The new travel ban: what you need to know

Essentially the core components of Trump’s new travel ban do not differ greatly from the ones that preceded it. Like before, the ban affects people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The main difference is that people from these six countries who have close ties with the United States will still be allowed to travel.
It is worth highlighting at this point that none of these six countries form part of the Visa Waiver Programme, and… READ MORE
Visa Waiver Program Biometrics

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 think… READ MORE
ESTA info

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

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

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, a… READ MORE

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

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