USA travel requirements
- Overview of requirements
- Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
- API (Advance Passenger Information)
- CBP Customs Declaration forms
- Passenger Data Notice
- Department of Homeland Security 'U.S. Visit' Program
Overview of requirements
All passengers travelling to the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) must:
- Apply for authorisation to travel under the VWP using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ESTA website no less than 72 hours prior to travel.
- Add API (Advance Passenger Information) to your booking up to 1 hour in advance of the first flight on your itinerary.
- Hold an individual machine readable passport and a confirmed return or onward ticket (or e-ticket) for departure from the United States within 90 days.
- Complete relevant CBP Customs Declaration form at the airport on the day of departure.
Please also review the US CBP preclearance requirements.
Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)
Eligible citizens or nationals from all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme. There is a charge $14.00 USD per person to avail of this service. This charge is collected by the US Department of Homeland Security and is not an Aer Lingus fee.Passengers apply for authorization using the https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov ESTA website.
This system is designed for visa-free passengers to obtain travel authorisation prior to travelling. ESTA will in due time replace the green I-94W Arrival/Departure record. Until this time, passengers must still complete these forms at the airport prior to departure and also add API (Advance Passenger Information) to their booking.
How the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation Works
Log onto the ESTA Web site at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and complete an on-line application. Passengers are encouraged to apply early. The web-based system will prompt you to answer basic biographical and eligibility questions typically requested on a paper I-94W form.
Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, however, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel. In most cases you will receive a response within seconds:
- Authorisation Approved: Travel authorised.
- Travel Not Authorised: Passenger must obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before travelling to the U.S.
- Authorization Pending: Passenger will need to check the ESTA Web site for updates within 72 hours to receive a final response.
An approved travel authorization via ESTA is:
- Required for all VWP Passengers prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP beginning January 12, 2009;
- Valid, unless revoked, for up to two years or until the Passenger's passport expires, whichever comes first;
- Valid for multiple entries into the U.S. As future trips are planned, or if an applicant's destination addresses or itineraries change after their authorization has been approved, they may easily update that information through the ESTA Web site; and
- Not a guarantee of admissibility to the United States at a port of entry. ESTA approval only authorizes a Passenger to board a carrier for travel to the U.S. under the VWP. (For additional information, please visit 'For International Visitors' at www.CBP.gov/travel.)
Transit through the United States:
Eligible nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the VWP require either a travel authorization or a visa to transit the United States. If a traveler is only planning to transit through the United States en route to another country, when he or she completes the travel authorization application in ESTA, the traveler should enter the words "In Transit" and his or her final destination location in the address lines in the Address While In The United States field on the application.
|Countries currently enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program include:|
|Czech Republic||New Zealand|
|Finland||Republic of Malta|
API (Advance Passenger Information)
You must provide API: Passengers travelling to the United States are required to provide Advance Passenger Information. This information is compulsory and is required for the purposes of ensuring aviation safety and security.
The Information required for each passenger is:
- First Name (as on passport)
- Family Name (as on passport)
- Date of Birth
- Passport Number
- Passport Country
- Expiry Date of Passport
- Country of Residence
- Alien Registration or Permanent Resident Card Number if applicable
- Address while in USA if you are not a US passport holder or a landed US resident.
You can add API information to your booking by clicking here: Add API Information.
CBP Customs Declaration forms
All Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to the US now depart Terminal 2 (T2), Dublin Airport. For details on preclearance of US Customs and Immigration in Terminal 2 (Dublin) before departure see our section on Terminal 2 - US immigration.
All Irish passport holders visiting the United States will require an individual, machine readable passport to avail of the US Visa Waiver Programme. Otherwise you will require a visa, in advance, from your nearest US Diplomatic or Consular Mission. For travel over 90 days a visa must be obtained.
Passengers must also complete a CBP Customs Declaration Form at the airport on the day of departure. One completed declaration form per family must be handed to the US airport Customs official.
Forms available at check-in, onboard or in the Immigration Hall at Dublin Airport. View a sample of the CBP Customs Declaration form here.
Passenger Data Notice
The United States Government has initiated legislation requiring all airlines to provide the US customs and immigration authorities with access to data held on an airline's reservation system. This relates to passengers travelling to or from the United States. Consequently, if your journey involves a flight to or from the United States, any information we hold about you and your travel arrangements may be disclosed to the US customs and immigration authorities.
All passengers travelling to the United States must also provide a U.S. address where they will be staying. Failure to do so may result in passengers being refused entry to the U.S. by Immigration.
Department of Homeland Security 'U.S. Visit' Program
Since January 5th, 2004, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been implementing the 'U.S. Visit Program'.
This program applies to all visitors. It does not apply to U.S. citizens or Legal Residents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers will use an inkless fingerprint scanner to automatically read the fingerprints of these visitors. The Customs and Border Protection Officer will also take a digital photograph. This biographic and fingerprint data will be used to verify the identity of the visitor. Visit www.dhs.gov/us-visit for additional information.
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