Entering the USA & Canada

Entering the USA (ESTA)


ESTA has been mandated by US Government legislation. If you qualify to enter the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) you will need to complete the ESTA process online. ESTA applications should be made before or at the time of booking your holiday and at least 72 hours before departure. Visit to complete the process. The ESTA application costs $14 per person and once granted it is valid for two years for multiple entries into the USA. We strongly recommend you take a print out of your ESTA authorization as you will need a record of the unique ESTA number for future reference (to update information for future visits, for instance). Although it is not mandatory to show the ESTA authorization to Customs Border Protection (CBP) officer upon entry into the USA, we recommend taking a copy with you when you travel. Each family member travelling must complete individual ESTA applications.

Click here to view the current information document from U.S. Customs and Border Protection  


Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD)

To comply with the US Transport Security Administration (TSA), it is mandatory that the following information is provided to the airline (a) full name as it appears on your passport, (b) gender, and (c) date of birth. Most airlines require this information before tickets can be issued therefore we recommend it is provided at the time of booking, however at the very latest it must be provided a minimum of 72 hours before your departure.

Advanced Passenger Information Service (APIS) & Online Check-in

The US government also requires airlines to collect APIS from passengers prior to travel. This data is passed by the airlines to the control authorities in the USA and comprises (a) passport number, (b) passport expiry date, (c) country of birth, (d) date of birth, (e) your country of residence, (f) country in which your passport was issued, and, (g) the address, including the zip code (post code) for your first nights stay in the USA. You can complete both your APIS details and check-in process on-line with many airlines or you can provide this information to us and we will in turn provide it to the airline on your behalf. APIS information can be provided anytime after you’ve received your holiday confirmation and online check-in can be done 24 hours before the departure of your flight. This will save you valuable time at the airport.


Entering Canada (eTA)

eTA is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. This includes British Citizens. It will allow Canada to screen travellers before you arrive at the point of entry into the country. The authorization is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Starting on August 1, 2015, you will be able to apply for an eTA online and as of March 15, 2016, travellers will need an eTA before you board a flight to Canada and we recommend you apply for it at the time you are making your travel arrangements. Applying for an eTA is an easy online process that will take just a few minutes. It only costs $7 Canadian and all you need to complete the application is your passport, a credit card, and an email address. For further information ahead of the eTA being launched, please view this short video:



Passport & Visa Requirements

All clients are responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport as well as an ESTA or visa to enter the USA. North America Travel Service is happy to provide up-to-date information on these requirements at the time of booking.

PASSPORTS  All visitors to North America, including children and infants, must hold their own full and valid machine readable passport. If your passport was issued on or after October 26th 2006, it must also be a biometric passport. For further information please visit For travel to the USA, your passport need only be valid for the duration of your stay in the USA. For travel to Canada, your passport must be valid for at least one day beyond your stay in Canada.

VISAS  Generally, British Citizens are allowed entry into the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme (see also ESTA); however there are certain exceptions so we encourage you to check at the time of booking if any special requirements apply in your particular case. Visit, ask your professional travel agent or at any North America Travel Service office.


Health Requirements

At present there are no compulsary vaccinations required to visit North America although the Department of Health policies can change, therefore we recommend that you refer to at least six weeks prior to travelling. 



Winner of ‘Top Tour Operator to the USA & Canada 2012’ voted by readers of Selling Long Haul magazine.