Getting the information you need before travelling to the United States is exceptionally important, in order to avoid any form of hiccups or issues that you may have. Whether you’re heading to the US for a holiday or for work purposes, it is important that you understand all of the processes and procedures. While this article will provide you with a range of information regarding the current travel requirements as we understand them, it is important to check with your travel agent or company in order to ensure that you have all of the correct documentation before you make the trip. Firstly, you will need a passport and a visa, permanent resident card or access through the Visa Waiver Programme.
Visa Waiver Programme
When entering the US, there are a number of countries who qualify for what is known as the Visa Waiver Program, also known as the ESTA, which allows tourists from certain countries the opportunity to enter the country for a holiday, for certain types of business trips and visits, and for transit to another country. There are a number of different requirements you will need to consider if you are heading to the United States, and knowing whether or not you qualify for the Visa Waiver Programme is particularly important – as this can prevent the long-winded process of obtaining a full visa to enter the country. In order to apply for an ESTA, you will need to meet a specific set of criteria.
Firstly, you will have to fill out a questionnaire form that will discuss a series of personal questions. Then you will make a payment for the ESTA (which is only available online), and will cover authorisation and any processing fees that may be needed. There are currently 38 visa waiver countries, and any individuals with a passport from the 38 visa waiver countries are eligible to apply for the ESTA. Nevertheless there are some restrictions to this, such as being a national of a VWP country who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia or Yemen after March 1, 2011, or has a dual nationality with Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. All other travellers will need to apply for a full visa.
Bringing Food Into The US
There are a number of entry rules that you will need to consider when it comes to travelling to the US, as many agricultural products are actually prohibited, due to fear that they may carry foreign animal diseases or pests. All agricultural items will need to be declared at the item. Some of these restricted items will include meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, seeds, products made from animal or plant material, and soil. If any undeclared agricultural item which is prohibited is found, it will be confiscated and a civil penalty will be enforced.
In some cases, travellers with certain health-related issues may be deemed as inadmissible, and in some cases a physical and/or mental examination will take place, conducted by a panel physicians. The results of this examination will only last for a year, so even if you are still allowed to enter the US after one of these, if you wish to return after a year of this examination, you will need to undergo another.