All passengers travelling to the US on the Visa Waiver / ESTA programme from 1 April 2016 must have an e-Passport which contains an electronic chip.
You should see a symbol on the front if you have an e-Passport.
If you don't have one you will not be permitted to travel.
To make your visit to the United States, you must either travel under the country’s Visa Waiver programme (with an ‘ESTA’), or have a US visa (or be a US citizen, of course).
An ESTA allows you to stay in the US under the Visa Waiver programme for up to 90 days and allows travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.
An ESTA is valid for two years, (or less if your passport expires in that time).
If you're from one of the following countries you can travel under this programme unless
If this applies to you you'll still be able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process via the US embassies or consulates (contact details below), but you'll no longer be able to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme (ESTA).
If you need a U.S. visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, the U.S. embassies and consulates will be on hand to process applications on an expedited basis.
If you already hold an Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA) and you previously indicated that you have dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on your ESTA application, your ESTA will no longer be valid.
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If you don’t come from one of these countries, you’ll need to apply for a visa via the US Embassy.
To obtain your ESTA:
You can apply for your ESTA directly with US Homeland security, at a charge of $14. Useful information about your ESTA application:
Alternatively, our partners VisaCentral can make the process of applying for your ESTA as easy as possible. They will assess your requirements and apply on your behalf, for an additional service charge of £16.
A change in US government policy now means that anyone born in the United States is considered to be a US citizen. As a result, if you were born in the US but don’t hold a US passport, you’ll need a 'loss of nationality letter' to enter the country.
Please note that we are not able to carry passengers in these circumstances unless they have this letter, which can be obtained from the US embassy.
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