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ESTA to get into the US

Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

ESTA to get into the US

Anyone with an existing ESTA form to gain entry into the US should know that they are starting to charge $14 from 8th September for renewal.
I have spoken to the US Embassy and they confirm that even if your existing ESTA  is still valid you can apply for a new one and save the cost for another 2 years.
The correct site to go to for renewal is:
ESTA
When you apply for a new ESTA the system will automatically set the prior application to expired.
15 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

Mine was due to run out in October.
Just renewed, thanks Artmo, you just saved me 14 dollars Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

Usual commission due of course Wink Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

poor yanks; they real broke.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

No, they just believe the user of a service should pay the cost and it should not be left to the taxpayer to pick up the bill.  Some of the revenue has been earmarked to put back into the US tourism industry where they will match $ for $ funds committed by tourist organisations.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

Thanks for the link  Smiley
Not of use to me personally but sent it to a friend, who's going to US in December, and it'll save them nearly £40 as 4 people going.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

It a bit of nonsense though because you do not use the document and do not have to present it at US immigration.
The usual visa waiver form still has to be completed and handed in on arrival.
The $14 is a little revenue earner and as they are doing this we should charge the Americans likewise when the come here.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

Believe the name will give you a clue, ESTA Electronic System for Travel Authorisation hence the reason the ESTA can only be used with a passport with a digital chip.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,280
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

Quote
The usual visa waiver form still has to be completed and handed in on arrival.

That's not the case anymore...
Quote
Release Date: May 20, 2010
For Immediate Release

Office of the Press Secretary

Contact: 202-282-8010
Washington, D.C.—Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the elimination of the paper arrival/departure form (Form I-94W) for authorized travelers from nations participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—streamlining secure travel for millions of visitors to the United States every year by consolidating the collection of traveler information and enhancing security by automatically providing DHS with important passenger information prior to departure...
Following a successful seven-month pilot program conducted with the support of the Government of New Zealand on Air New Zealand flights from Auckland to Los Angeles International Airport, the use of paper I-94W forms will be eliminated for VWP travelers with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) arriving in the United States at all airports by the end of this summer. CBP will activate automated processing for U.S. airports on a rolling basis over the next several months.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: ESTA to get into the US

@artmo, thanks SWMBO's ESTA expires early next year, she has just re-applied
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

I can confirm that the I-94 visa waiver form does not now have to be completed on the plane.  I carry a printed copy of my ESTA with me but it isn't necessary as the immigration people have a record on their screens.
deekay
Grafter
Posts: 209
Registered: 05-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

I'd like to share our ESTA experience with you. It's all absolutely true.
We flew to Miami about 18 months ago, not long after ESTA was introduced.
Had to complete the ESTA form on-line several weeks before we went.
On the plane, we had to complete another, identical one. Woe-betide us if there was the slightest difference between any of our answers on the two forms. All sorts of punishments were threatened, ranging from huge fines to imprisonment and deportation. I had copied our on-line forms, so we were able to make certain we didn't deviate in the answers we entered on the paper forms.  We had to go to immigration first, where the paper ESTA was compared with the one they had on their database. Passports thoroughly scrutinised and compared with the passport details they already had. Finger prints taken, photograph taken, eye-scan taken. All this took about 15 minutes. Fortunately we were among the first off the plane. The last passengers off had to queue for so long, it was over two hours before they cleared immigration.
Next to Customs where we handed in a customs declaration form we had filled in on the plane. That took less than 5 minutes as we had nothing to declare.
Out of the airport, hustled on to a waiting shuttle bus along a paved path (don't you dare step off the path). A journey of less than 20 minutes and we were at the cruise terminal. Into the terminal, check in and on to the ship ready for our two week Caribbean Cruise.
Ignoring the time spent in the airport and cruise terminals, our stay on American soil (on a shuttle bus) was less than 20 minutes. So all that immigration palava just for a very short bus ride.
The whole experience was horrendous and it was the first, and last, time we will go to America.  
Keith
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

At the time the ESTA was introduced it was done simply to get a database of passengers and they still required the I-94 Visa Waiver (green form) to be completed.  The ESTA is required for all passengers arriving in the US irrespective of length of stay, even if you are just changing planes to fly to a destination outside the US.  I have never been asked for my hard copy ESTA as they have this on their system.
Generally for passengers who are straight forward entrants from the time you get to the immigration officer's desk, hand in your passport, are fingerprinted, photographed and had your iris scan is generally less that 5 minutes in my experience.`If you are entering the US for the first time this could take a little longer but once you have been in a few times they have previous history and this speeds the process up.
I do think their security is a little overkill but that's the way they are.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

Quote from: itsme
Believe the name will give you a clue, ESTA Electronic System for Travel Authorisation hence the reason the ESTA can only be used with a passport with a digital chip.
My passport doesnt have a chip in it.
When I just completed my ESTA application I entered US Airways as the carrier, a relevant flight number and a US address. The application was approved.
I have no immediate planes to travel to the US. When I go I may use a different carrier, flight number and stay at different address. How does that work at the immigration desk in the absence of an I-94?
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: ESTA to get into the US

It doesn't matter as the details of travel and where you are staying are changeable.  That part of the ESTA can be amended by you each trip if you want to. Always best to give your travel and destination address to prevent any questions.
Some passports do not have a chip.  They have to be machine readable though and all current UK passports are.