Discovering The America is a craze among people around the world. It has very beautiful vacation spots like LasVegas, California, Virginia, Florida, New York etc. The destinations have all the elements for a pleasurable trip like beaches, clubbing, eating joints and shopping options. The North America has the most beautiful tourist destinations which are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.
In the recent history with emerging multinational environment business trips have also shown a considerable increase. Before planning a trip to United States everyone must go through the requirements laid down by government. The requirements may look lengthy but these are extremely important for the peaceful stay in The United States of America.
The travel requirements include the following:
Valid Passport: The passport must be valid till the proposed duration of stay in America. The additional validity is not required beyond the period of stay. The passport is usually verified at the embassy of United States at the time of applying for visa.
Valid Visa: Visa must be applied for before planning the trip. Other than the countries that are listed under the Visa Waiver Program by United States have to apply for the visa. The embassy in each country facilitates this with some fee amount. The visa is granted after verifying the background and the main purpose of the travel.
Common visa statuses of United States are:
- B1 – Business Visa
- B2 – Tourist Visa
- C1 – Transit Visa
- F/M – Visa for students
- H/L – Visa for employment in United States
- I - Visa for journalist or media persons
- J1 –Exchange Program
- K – Visa for prospective spouse
- WB – Visa Waiver program for business trip
- WT – Visa waiver Program for tourist.
Visa Waiver Program: Countries that are listed under this program can travel to United States for 90 days without visa. There are 38 countries listed under this program. Thisprogram allowonly leisure or business trip and not valid for study, work or residency. Without visa the stay is allowed up to ninety days only. Travelling under this program has some specific requirements.
The people who want to travel must register and provide all the details 72 hours before the travel. This is commonly known as Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA. Without ESTA travel will not be permitted to United States. ESTA includes the administrative fees for this. The procedure involves the following steps:
- Completing the application
- Submitting the online application
- Recording the application number carefully
- Paying the fees
- Viewing the status of application
The response generally comes in few minutes about the approval or rejection of the application. The responses includes: authorization approved, travel not authorized and authorization pending. In the second scenario the traveler have to apply for the visa and in third scenario the traveler must go and check for the status again on ESTA.
This online application form has reduced the paperwork and made the process very easy and fast for the tourist. The aim behind this is to maintain the security and background check for the enhanced security purpose in United States.
For British tourist this information is available online at www.estafasttrack.org.uk as they have the privilege to travel without visa. It is very easy and straight forward process and can be completed in minutes from computer. This authorization will be valid for two years. The online form will gather the biographic information of applicant and determines the eligibility for Visa Waiver Program. However the British passport that has the nationality other than British will require getting the Visa for travelling to United States.
Certain criminal records make the travelers ineligible to visit as per visa waiver program. These criminal records include: traffic violations, civil infractions like noise violation, littering and disorderly conduct, political offense and any offense that is committed before attaining the age on sixteen.
The ESTA application comes in the form of questionnaire which is required to be answered honestly and diligently.
Advanced Passenger Information: Before entering to United States the travelers are required to complete the advance passenger information. It includes first name and last name as on passport, gender, birth date, nationality, passport country and number, passport expiry date and address of the place where the tourist will stay during the visit.
UK Emergency Travel Documents: This is not required with the Visa Waiver Program but if travel is planned with UK emergency travel document, tourist must apply for the tourist visa for travelling.
Travel Insurance: This is must for travelling to United States of America. The country offers the best health care in the world. Insurance plans are helpful to reimburse the health expenditures in America.
HIV Test: The US department had made this test mandatory for all the visitors to country. However recently they have removed the HIV from communicable diseases so this is no longer required for travelling to United States. This is also included under the Visa Waiver Program.
Medicines: The United State Food and Drug Administration has imposed very strict restrictions on getting the medicines without prescription. The detailed information about this is available on website of US Department for Homeland Security. This will give the entire requirements and tourist can take the medicines as per the rules mentioned. The main rule is taking the doctor’s prescription along with the medicines.
Airport Security Check – The security check at airport in United States is very strict. All the documents are carefully examined by the official along with the personal check of the tourist. The checking procedure is very lengthy but this is critical for the security purpose. Especially after the 9/11 attack the security check has become even more comprehensive.
The United States of America is full of natural scenery. From the beautiful and spectacular glaciers of Alaska to the yellow stone national park there is wide variety of natural beauty in America. There are also many historical attractions, beautiful beaches and extraordinary markets that attract the tourist from around the world. The monuments, museums and itineraries are worth visiting.
To enjoy the stay in United States the above listed requirements must be fulfilled so thatthereis no complication on the trip. The government s strict about this norms and failing in certain criteria may lead to deportation from the air port itself. Once a tourist is deported from the airport may not get visa again or become ineligible from the visa waiver program for the life time.
The ESTA requirements are clearly mentioned on www.estafasttrack.org.uk. This must be carefully followed so that there is no complication left in the journey.