I’m Interested…

Entering The USA And Canada

It’s important to us that our valued customers have the correct information regarding UK visitors entering the USA and Canada.

We have compiled a guide to the general terms associated with visiting both the USA and Canada. However, policies change and we all have different circumstances which may affect our entry, so please read this section carefully and take additional advice from the authorities of the country you are visiting, should you have any concerns.

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 https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov to complete the process. Alternatively, you can download the official ESTA app (available on Android and iPhone/iOS) by clicking here on your mobile device. For a step-by-step guide on completing your ESTA via the app click here.

The ESTA application costs $21 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.

Entering Canada (eTA)

eTA is an 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.

You can apply for an eTA online and travellers will need an eTA before you board a flight to Canada. 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. Visit http://www.canada.ca/eta to complete the process.

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.

If you have booked your holiday with us, and need to submit your APIS details, please click on the following link to complete the forms. Complete your APIS details.

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.

UK citizens must have an electronic passport (e-passport) to be eligible for visa-free (ESTA) travel to the United States. Please take a moment to ensure you have an e-passport before planning your trip.

What is an e-passport? E-passports contain an electronic chip which holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, a biometric identifier, and other biographic information.  The United States, the UK, and all countries eligible for visa-free travel to the U.S. issue e-passports with security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.  Among their many benefits, e-Passports help to securely identify the traveller, provide protection against identity theft, and protect privacy.  The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 specified April 1, 2016, as the date by which all VWP travellers to the U.S. must have an e-passport.  Please note that this change only affects citizens of VWP countries who plan to travel visa-free, with an approved authorization from the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) system.

What do I do if I don’t have an e-passport? If you have one of the older, non-electronic passports, and still wish to travel visa-free, you will need to apply for a new e-passport before your next visa-free trip to the United States. Once you have received your new e-passport, you may apply for a new ESTA.

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 https://uk.usembassy.gov/, 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 www.dh.gov.uk at least six weeks prior to travelling.

How Can We Help?

  • North America Travel Service
  • The Kennedy Building,
    48 Victoria Road,
    Leeds, LS11 5AF
Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest offers, news, events and more.