check-in & identification - travelling in the USA
When travelling to the US, you must have the correct passport to travel on the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), or have obtained the correct visa valid for your stay. All customers travelling under the VWP must also apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ESTA). From 8th September the US Customs and Immigration authorities will apply a charge of $14 for applying for an ESTA.
In addition, you are required to provide passport data (APIS) for the US Government prior to travel. This may be collected by the airline, either online or at time of booking. Some travel agents or tour operators may collect APIS data as part of the reservation process on behalf of the airline.
Passengers are also reminded to ensure that they have completed US Customs declaration forms prior to arriving at the US border controls. Customs forms will be provided at check-in or on board the aircraft.
Note: Travel Documents and Travel Authorisation are the responsibility of the passenger. Failure to comply with requirements may lead to being denied travel.
Visa Waiver Program
Please consult the US Embassy website, which details all the requirements regarding eligibility to travel to the US under the VWP.
Applying for Electronic Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
If you are travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme you must also have applied for Electronic Travel Authorisation. You can receive Travel Authorisation by completing the online form and a decision will normally be made within seconds. From 8th September 2010, the US Government will charge will charge $14 to apply for an ESTA. The Travel Authorisation is then valid for multiple entries to the US for two years, unless any answers to the YES/NO questions on the form change or a new passport is required.
How to obtain a US Visa
Travellers requiring a US visa are advised to contact the US Embassy. If you are intending to travel to the US and require a US visa, you must make an interview appointment directly with the Embassy. Applying for a US visa can be a lengthy process, which can take several weeks.
Further information on the visa process can be obtained from here.
Note: Visas cannot be obtained on a same day basis.