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Travel Management

 March 04, 2010
U.S. Visa Waiver Programme March 20, 2010 Requirements

 As of March 20th, 2010, and at the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Immigration authority, citizens of countries included in the U.S. visa waiver programme* travelling to or through the United States must obtain permits under the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

How to Obtain The Authorisation

The travel permit can be obtained only via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security web site, https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov, where a form must be filled out. It is available in 20+ languages. It must be submitted at least 72 before the start of your trip.

In most instances permission to visit the United States will be granted in a few seconds, although the procedure may take as long as 72 hours.

When the authorisation is obtained it should be printed and kept along with your passport. If the request is denied, you should contact the nearest United States Embassy to find out if a visa may be issued.

Validity

The ESTA permit will remain valid for two years and may be used for multiple entries to the United States. If in this period there are changes in the passenger's home address or travel destination, he or she may visit the same web site to modify the data accordingly. When a new passport is issued, the holder must request a new ESTA permit.

The new rules do not exempt passengers from the obligation to supply data under the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS), to possess a machine-readable passport, or to fill out landing cards on board aircraft.

* Countries included in U.S. Visa Waiver Programme:

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxemburg
Monaco
New Zealand
Norway
Portugal
San Marino
Singapore
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
The Netherlands
United Kingdom