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Visas & Documentation


New Entry Procedures for visitors to the USA under Visa Waiver Program: The US Government has changed its entry procedures for travellers to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program and has introduced the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) system. Learn more...


To submit an ESTA application, visit the official website:

Nationals of 27 countries, the UK and Ireland included, participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and may stay in the United States for a period of 90 days or less for tourism or business without a visa. However, starting January 12, 2009, all visitors who travel to the USA under the VWP must register themselves online according to the new legislations being introduced by the US Government.

Travellers should check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate to verify that what they plan to do is considered tourism or business. Transit through the United States is generally permitted. A machine readable passport is required and the passport must not expire at any point of the duration of stay.

Nationals of countries other than those 27 countries who participate in the visa waiver program will require a U.S. visa, which can be applied for through the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Make an appointment early enough before your planned visit, as there may be a wait. Ask the Embassy what forms you will need to complete, what fees must be paid (keep your receipt) and what documentation you must bring to your appointment. Visas are usually issued within a few weeks of application. For more information on this, click here .

Please see Visitor Visas for more in depth information on passport and visa requirements.

A few tips before you travel

  • Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program should be aware of the new passport requirements provided by the United States. For more information, please see updated passport information . To find out which countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, click here .
  • Know the name and address of the location in which you will be staying on arrival.
  • Have on hand your return airline ticket information in the event you are asked by a customs official on entry.

Please see Foreign Consulates in California for a list of all foreign consulates in the state.

Contact details of the US Embassy

View contact details of your nearest US Embassy in the UK.

View contact details of your nearest US Embassy in Ireland.

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