America - ESTA

All passengers travelling to the USA must obtain travel authorisation using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)

UK citizens are currently part of the Visa Waiver Programme, which means that UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter the United States.

For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States. The six-month requirement does not apply to United Kingdom passports.

In addition, all passengers travelling to the USA must have obtained travel authorisation using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).

This must come back approved with at least 72 hours before departure.

The fee is $21 per person and we recommend that you add the cost of this to the price that you quote to your students.

It's preferable for Group Leaders to apply for a group of applications (up to a maximum of 50 at a time).

The following step-by-step guide should help you to complete the application process:

  1. Ensure you visit the correct ESTA website
  2. You should select “New Application” and then "Group of Applications"
  3. You will be required to enter your contact details to create a "Group Contact Person
  4. Once submitted, a Group Identification Number will be emailed to you
  5. Then proceed to complete and submit the applications you want in that group. You will be required to enter the details for all passengers within the group. It will ask for names, UK contact details, passport numbers and expiry dates, plus the address where you are staying in the USA (Please use the hotel described in your quote/confirmation letter to fill out the relevant address questions. Accommodation details can be updated at a later date)
  6. You will need your Group Identification Number to access the group applications, check the status, make amendments and view the receipt
  7. The group may be paid for any time within 7 days of creating the group
  8. The fee is comprised of two parts:
    - Processing Fee: All applicants requesting an electronic travel authorisation are charged $4.00 for the processing of the application.
    - Authorisation Fee: If your application is approved and you receive authorisation to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, an additional $17.00 will be added to your payment method. If your electronic travel authorisation is denied, you are only charged for the processing of your application.
  9. You may be told within seconds if your application has been accepted or rejected. Otherwise, you'll be asked to check your application status later, as a decision can take up to 72 hours.
  10. Although you don’t need to present the reference number at Border Protection when you land on US soil, print it out and bring it to the airport. It’s always better to be over-prepared.

For the latest information on entry requirements to the USA, please click here

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