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Routine questions you can expect upon arrival to the US.

Great, so you’re making the most of the Visa Waiver Programme to travel to the USA without having to go through all of the bureaucracy that’s required with a Visa. The ESTA really saves you a lot of time and effort when it comes to travelling to the USA, and this post will help you prepare for the routine questions that the border control officers might ask you upon arrival when travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme. 

First, as the ESTA is intended for people travelling to the USA as tourists or on limited business, officers at the port of entry may want to verify this with some simple questions.

Be prepared to explain what your intentions are in the USA;

  • Such as where you intend to travel,
  • What your itinerary is  
  • When you will be returning home
  •  Or what line of business you are in that requires you to be in the USA. 

US border control officers can be inquisitive, but don’t worry, providing your ESTA application met all of the necessary criteria, you have nothing to worry about! If you are a tourist, it is possible that you will be asked questions regarding what you do for a living back in the UK. This is just to verify that you have a line of work to return home to, and that you aren’t seeking employment in the USA. Maybe you will be asked how you are affording to travel in the USA, particularly if you are staying for more than a couple of weeks. Confirming that you have a job back at home, or that you have some savings with which you can travel, will prove that you have the means to travel in the USA. 

You should have the address and contact numbers of where you are staying in the USA to hand when you land, as it is likely that you will be asked for this information. If you are staying with a friend or at a hotel, include a contact number and address. This will make the whole entry process much simpler, and it means you can get on with your trip much quicker! Ensure that this information is on your person, as you won’t have access to your hold luggage when passing through immigration control. 

The ESTA is a very simple way to travel to the USA. It’s designed for people who are travelling within the USA for under 90 days, or visitors on business for under 90 days. If this doesn’t apply to you, then check out the visa options that will meet your needs. You may be asked a series of questions upon arrival when travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme, but it’s nothing to worry about, just be ready for them and be honest and you’ll be embarking on your US adventure in no time! 

Travelling to the United States? Do you have your pre-planning checklist in order? Visit our ESTA Guide for more information about obtaining your travel permit. We'd love to hear from you. Send us your comments or questions for travel assistance.