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HELP - Do I need a visa??

shropshire
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371 posts
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HELP - Do I need a visa??

Ive just read in guide book that I need to apply to ESTA for a visa to enter USA - Havnt done this previously - can anybody from UK who's travelled recently please let me know if you applied for this visa?

Thank you.

London, United...
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for Wakefield
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1. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

You need to apply for an ESTA. It is NOT a Visa, but it is an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, under the Visa Waiver Scheme.

If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Scheme, you have to apply for a proper visa.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

M

shropshire
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2. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

Thanks - have now found my way to this site.....panic over!!

Cambridgeshire, UK
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3. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

Umm - are you leaving tomorrow? You normally have to give 72 hours notice for an ESTA.....

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

Well the guidelines on the ESTA website say: "Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travel authorization applications be submitted at least 72 hours prior to travel." So it could be ok.

Cambridgeshire, UK
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5. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

I know mine took 2 days to come through last year - guess it depends how busy the site is. Hope its ok!

Wicklow, Ireland
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6. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

On both occasions, when I did mine, it came through instantly. And I did my last one a few days before the introduced the fees so that's a major test!

By the way OP, it's a Visa Waiver meaning this program waves our need to have a Visa. It's just replacing the old green forms we had to fill in.

I still have another year on my free one (my second since it was introduced) but my third one is going to cost me the next time.....a small price to pay ;-)

Edited: 13 October 2011, 14:16
shropshire
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371 posts
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7. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

Hi - I did get visas through but had a panic when it authorised myself and one daughter but not hubbie and other daughter! However when I went back in they were all authorised!! Phew!

Off to bed now - leaving home in 4 hours!

Canberra, Australia
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for Canberra
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8. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

What you receive through ESTA is authorisation to apply for a Visa Waiver. It is not actually a visa nor an approval to enter the USA without a visa.

What the ESTA approval does basically is give you the authority to travel to the USA and apply for a waiver of visa when you get there. The immigration official on the counter when you arrive is the one who decides to grant the visa waiver or not.

If you hadn't got the ESTA approval back they wouldn't let you on the plane.

Belgium
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9. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

ESTA : We registered through the official gov site and we were correctly charged the us14 per person. A friend of us who did an application was surprised to be charged EUR 49 !!! (approximately USD 67!!!!)

I helped her with a complained and the response of the relevant company " USA eServices Travel Department " was incredible:

quote

We are a service provider company for all kinds of applications in the US.

We help people applying many forms, like creating companies, obtaining

driver licenses, etc., including ESTA applications.

While this application is $14.00 on the government website, we do charge

fees for our services,

The fees are 49 EUROS per application, and includes:

* $14.00 ESTA Border Fee.

* Call center support.

* A digital copy of your application available for 2 years. (the

government website does not provide this service).

* Time spent for submitting the application on your behalf.

* Verification, translation and correction of data entered.

* Free updates and modifications service during the validity of your

application (2 years).

* Use of our platform for filling out your application on any web

browser (the government website is only certified for internet explorer.

This service is for travelers who want to be sure that they have properly

filled out the ESTA application, or don't understand how the government

website functions.

It's no more different than paying a lawyer to file paperwork for you.

....

USA eServices Travel Department

unquote

YOU DO NOT NEED such companies who handle as crooks!!!

The even lie on their website that the gov site does only use Internet explorer!!! I made my gov request with Firefox.

YOU DO NOT NEED a lawyer for entering the data in the official gov website.!!!!

BE CAREFULL. Beside the above mentioned "company" there are several others. Such practices are revolting.

Edited: 29 October 2011, 12:05
Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
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10. Re: HELP - Do I need a visa??

Yes, it's terrible that there are companies taking advantage of naive, gullible people like your friend. Still, have people not learned basic Internet safety? Like, don't enter credit card information on random sites you find on Google? Or, don't wire money to someone who claims to be renting you a five bedroom penthouse apartment in Times Square for $100 a night? I'm always amazed at the things people will fall for.