You must apply for an ESTA online to enter the USA after 12 Jan 2009

Former_MSE_Natasha
Former_MSE_Natasha Posts: 672 Forumite
edited 7 September 2010 at 9:28AM in Overseas holidays & travel planning
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Comments

  • I picked this up a few weeks ago, and read on the website that it's optional between August this year and January. So as I was travelling to the states last month I thought I would save some hassle and time and apply online.

    I got accepted, however when I arrived in the USA, I was told it wasn't valid until January and still had to fill in one of the Green Forms. :mad:

    So if you are traveling in December and early Jan, just fill in the form on the plane.
  • I have a ten year US multiple entry visa stamped in my passport as I make extended visits to America. Do I therefore have to complete a visa waiver entry form?

    I think when I normally enter the US by a common carrier I normally complete a white entry card/form whereas people on a short term vacations (less than 30 days) completed a green card/form. Does this still apply?
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  • wearside_2
    wearside_2 Posts: 1,508 Forumite
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    unclemonty wrote: »
    I picked this up a few weeks ago, and read on the website that it's optional between August this year and January. So as I was travelling to the states last month I thought I would save some hassle and time and apply online.

    I got accepted, however when I arrived in the USA, I was told it wasn't valid until January and still had to fill in one of the Green Forms. :mad:

    So if you are traveling in December and early Jan, just fill in the form on the plane.

    I agree with what unclemonty has said. I am in the States at present and completed the form online prior to arriving in Houston last month. When I arrived at Immigration, the usual non smiling official looked at the form and said that I had to fill in the usual green one. He would not give me a reason except saying that if I wanted to I could speak to his Supervisor. After a ten hour flight I wanted a shower not a Supervisor, so I completed the green form.

    If you are travelling in the near future complete the usual green form and avoid the hassle!!
    To Dare is To Do:beer:
  • keefrto
    keefrto Posts: 281 Forumite
    Warning - I made an error on one of my applications for a family member (got approval anyway!!) and I thought I could rectify the error however its not on the list of things I can update and gives you no obvious person or dept to contact to get help. Weird thing is I got the approval based on the wrong passport number so they are not linked yet. Guess I will have to argue at the airport then unless someone can see a contact on their website??
    cheers:confused:
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  • hansi
    hansi Posts: 3,001 Forumite
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    One of the things that bothers me knowing how "jobsworth" some US immigration officials can be, is that on the application form, you have to enter the name of the carrier (airline) first night's accommodation address and airline but no travel date. Do you have to enter this info every time you travel. Incidentally, I completed the form as I am flying on the 15th January and it was approved immediately.
  • worldtraveller
    worldtraveller Posts: 14,012 Forumite
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    keefrto wrote: »
    Warning - I made an error on one of my applications for a family member (got approval anyway!!) and I thought I could rectify the error however its not on the list of things I can update and gives you no obvious person or dept to contact to get help. Weird thing is I got the approval based on the wrong passport number so they are not linked yet. Guess I will have to argue at the airport then unless someone can see a contact on their website??
    cheers:confused:

    IMHO I would make a new application, rather than try to "argue" (something you don't do with Immigration staff in the U.S.A.) at the airport. I don't think you can actually update the passport number, but the site does state:

    What should I do if the information on my passport has changed?

    If you obtain a new passport or there is a change to your passport information, you must apply for a new travel authorization.

    It's up to you of course, but I would make a new application with the correct details.
    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more...
  • worldtraveller
    worldtraveller Posts: 14,012 Forumite
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    hansi wrote: »
    One of the things that bothers me knowing how "jobsworth" some US immigration officials can be, is that on the application form, you have to enter the name of the carrier (airline) first night's accommodation address and airline but no travel date. Do you have to enter this info every time you travel. Incidentally, I completed the form as I am flying on the 15th January and it was approved immediately.

    Personally I would update those details each time.
    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more...
  • Airline (carrier) details and first night accomodation details, among other things, are optional.
  • alanrowell
    alanrowell Posts: 5,365 Forumite
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    you also need to make a note of your application reference number to get back into it at a later date, as they dont email the details to you.
    So what happens if you lose / forget your application reference number?

    Do you have to make a fresh application and if so will it recognize your passport number and reject your new application?
  • hansi
    hansi Posts: 3,001 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    It's very simple. When it's authorised, just print it out!
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