You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. If you’re travelling to the United States for tourism or business purposes for 90 days or less who and are exempt from visa requirements need to apply for a travel authorisation.
Travel Documents To North America
You can travel to the US without a visa, provided that these requirements:
- You have a valid passport as well as au thorization to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) via the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
- The duration of your stay is no longer than 90 days.
- You have a confirmed return ticket or a ticket for a connecting international flight.
- You have sufficient funds to cover your entire stay even if you’re staying with family and friends
- You have a valid biometric passport, which contains a microchip.
What is ESTA
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA is an online application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travelers before they are allow to board an airplane or ship bound for the United States. Starting on January 12, 2009, any person entering the United States under the visa waiver program is required to hold an approved ESTA Travel Authorization.
Who Needs to Apply for ESTA
All travelers entering the United States (by air or sea) under the visa waiver program are required to hold a valid ESTA travel authorization. The purpose of ESTA is to allow DHS to pre-screen all Visa Waiver Travelers before they leave their respective countries. U.S.-bound travelers are recommended to apply for a Travel Authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure.
How to to Apply for ESTA
You should complete an online pre-registration form on the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) website, before you travel. The US Customs and Border Patrol recommends that you do this at least 72 hours before departure.
What is the Visa Waiver Program
The visa waiver program is a U.S. government program that enables citizens and nationals from the Visa Waiver Countries to enter the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The advantage of entering the United States under the visa waiver program is that you can travel to the United States on short notice without obtaining a visa.