Visiting the US: Apply through new authorization rules
BRITISH citizens who wish to travel to the US will now have to apply for authorisation under new rules that come into effect on January 12.
All nationals and citizens of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries - including the UK - will be required by law to obtain a travel authorisation prior to traveling to the US.
Travelers can register for authorisation online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). This is a free internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through a US government web site.
In the weeks before the New Year, just over 4,000 British citizens eligible to travel to the US on the Visa Waiver Program were registering each day.
'We believe a number of travelers will put off registering until right before ESTA becomes mandatory or until a few days before departure,' said Mike Restovich, Department of Homeland Security Attaché at the US embassy in London.
Travelers who are unable to access the internet to complete an ESTA application may call a friend, family member, colleague or their travel agent to fill out an ESTA application on behalf of the passenger.
Eligible visitors seeking to travel to the US under the VWP should visit the ESTA website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
The ESTA is valid for two years and allows multiple visits to the US within that period.
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