ESTA BLOG

01Sep2015

Alcatraz prison reopens its doors to the general public

The historic prison of Alcatraz, located on the island of the same name in the bay of San Francisco, has just reopened its famous doors to the grand public.

Don’t worry! We are talking about the end of the former prison’s restorations (somewhere in the region of £2m), which had been going on for over a year. As well as restoring and modernising several buildings, the former Guardhouse was also made earthquake proof!

So, if you…

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01Sep2015

Interpreting your ESTA Application Status

Travelling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme is a simple and convenient way to visit as a tourist or on business. UK citizens qualify under this programme, and can apply for ESTA as an alternative to the more length process of acquiring a visa.

When you apply for ESTA online, you are asked a short but thorough set of questions that will determine your application status. One way or another, you will receive the status of…

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01Aug2015

Is the ESTA required if crossing the US border by car?

How is crossing the border by car different from flying into the USA?

So, you’re finally heading off on that much awaited and dreamed about summer holiday to the states? Fantastic, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s never been easier for us Brits to get into the USA, thanks to the American ESTA visa waiver programme. If this is your first trip to the states, it can’t hurt to remind you that the USA does not share…

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01Aug2015

Exploring Space from the United States

We have been exploring outer space for decades, with increasingly sophisticated tools that have allowed us to open our eyes to unknown realities. Such great achievements make us feel smaller and smaller when compared with the limitless universe that surrounds us.

News announced just a few days ago has alerted us to the fact that Earth may have an older ‘cousin', which is very similar in many aspects. NASA said that this planned, known as Kepler 452b, is…

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01Aug2015

The Visa Waiver Programme and the I-94 W form

A question many travellers ask before heading to the USA is whether they are required to fill in an I-94 W form in addition to their ESTA.

The I-94 W form used to be compulsory for ESTA authorisation holders. Nevertheless, since 2010, this is no longer the case. Several questions included in the ESTA application are those that feature on the I-94 W form, and therefore there is no need to repeat this information. It is important to…

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01Aug2015

Eco-friendly tourism in the United States

Climate change is now visible to all of us, increasingly damaging the environment, and, consequently, mankind. It is well-established knowledge that human activities are responsible for the major increase in global warming. Before it’s too late, and in order for future generations to not suffer from our mistakes, all countries need to put the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2).

The United States are among the few countries not to join the "Kyoto Protocol" (an…

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01Aug2015

Tightroping the USA

What seems like a very bizarre sport to some has made news this week, as daredevil Nik Wallenda completed his longest tightrope walk ever at the Wisconsin State Fair. The 36-year-old acrobat comes from a long line of tightrope walkers, with six generations before him participating in the same, nail-biting activity.

Wallenda walked along 480 metres, suspended ten stories in the air. Having already walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, and between skyscrapers in Chicago, the…

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01Aug2015

Visit the beautiful Puerto Rico with the ESTA

Perhaps not everyone is aware that, along with an electronic passport, we brits require an ESTA to travel to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.

In fact, Puerto Rico (or rather the archipelago of Puerto Rico, made up of the main island and many other, smaller islands) is a non-incorporated territory of the United States, officially called the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which allows self-government. This means that Puerto Rico enjoys some legal aspects of the United States…

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01Aug2015

Washington D.C. welcomes two furry new residents

Although not native to the USA, a zoo in Washington DC has welcome two new giant panda cubs into its population; and they required neither a visa nor an ESTA!

Unlike the UK, China do not currently form part of the Visa Waiver Programme. Nevertheless, the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC was home to the birth of two panda cubs last week, parented by giant pandas on loan from China. 

The news is particularly exciting…

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01Jul2015

Air travel to resume between the USA and Cuba

On July 20th, Washington DC and Havana will open embassies and restore full diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba. Consequently, airlines and ship routes between both countries will be restored.

Since 1961, relations between the two countries have been turbulent, and their diplomatic missions have had to be conducted under the legal protection of Switzerland. Since ties were severed 54 years ago, after the USA imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, it has been notoriously difficult for…

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01Jul2015

Passport requirements when travelling with ESTA

The ESTA allows UK citizens to travel to the USA under the ‘Visa Waiver Programme’, eliminating the need to obtain a visa for trips to the USA for periods of 90 days or less. Nevertheless, there are a few passport requirements to bear in mind before applying for ESTA online.

First and foremost, it is essential that your passport is valid and does not expire during the validity of your ESTA (which is two years). As soon as…

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01Jul2015

Camping in USA

Those who travel to the USA are often nature lovers and those who enjoy wide, open scenery. One of the best ways to discover the USA up-close is by taking a camping trip!

Camping trips are very familiar to American culture. Almost every American went camping as a child, and the country has plenty on offer for everyone. 

So, camping can refer to two things; first of all, we have traditional camping in tents, and then…

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01Jul2015

Change your perception of flying to the USA

The journey between the UK and the USA may seem like a long one, with flights tending to stretch from seven to 12 hours, however this week marks a couple of events that may alter your perception. 

On 14th July, flying at 14km per second (around 57 times faster than the average speed of a transatlantic flight), the ‘New Horizons’ Spacecraft made a flying visit past our solar system’s distant icy world of Pluto. What was…

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01Jul2015

What to do if you lose your ESTA identification number

When you apply for ESTA online, the status of your application will be sent to you digitally within 24 hours. An approved application status will come with a personal reference number, which is specific to your ESTA.

Many travellers choose to print out this email, or take a note of the reference number provided. A print-out is not necessary, but having the reference number to hand should it be needed can prove very useful.

Nevertheless, if…

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01Jun2015

Another rise in airport security expected in the USA

If you’re planning a trip to the USA soon, don’t be surprised if security measures are more thorough than normal.

This expected boost of security is not due to a change in threat levels, and there’s no need to worry if you are searched or questioned. Rather, these efforts come following an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS recently ran some undercover tests across 70 airports across the country, to ensure that procedure was being…

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