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Know any thing about visa's and America?

(17 Posts)
Donbean Tue 28-Dec-04 16:31:53

Ive just been to the FIL's and DH has suggested a holiday in Florida for summer 2006. That way we can save up etc.
FIL was saying something about needing Visa's to enter America and the only way to get one is to go down to London in person and apply for one. Surely this is rubbish?

KangaSantaMummy Tue 28-Dec-04 16:37:39

it has got something to do with when you were issued with passports

if before october 2004 {i think} or it could have been august/september

is it machine readable?

perhaps\ look on the usa high commision place website?

ours are ok but there was deffo something to \do with date of issue of passports and that they have to be correct type

KangaSantaMummy Tue 28-Dec-04 16:39:36

also when you enquire at travel agents they may be able to organize it or you may be able to mail it to embassy as you have plenty of time

but they may need to see you all and sign papers and have photos taken etc.

LIZS Tue 28-Dec-04 16:40:49

Have a look here for passport requirements and here for US Visa Waiver details and whether you would need a visa in addition to a valid UK passport. tbh a good Travel agent should be able to give you more straightforward advice.

KangaSantaMummy Tue 28-Dec-04 16:42:05

sorry what i mean is that if you have a correct type of passport AND it was issued BEFORE the cut off date then you do NOT need one but otherwise you do

hope that makes sese now

LIZS Tue 28-Dec-04 16:44:45

It looks as though if you hold UK passport (or from one of those other countries participating in the Visa Waiver scheme) and it is machine readable then you should be ok under the Visa Waiver scheme.

Donbean Tue 28-Dec-04 16:48:18

Cheers guys, its a bit clearer. The good thing is we have got 18 months to get it sorted. There just seems to be a lot of hoops to jump through to see Mickey mouse!

KangaSantaMummy Tue 28-Dec-04 16:54:10



i have just thought of something else that there is a length of time before it expires that you have to have returned by IIRC 6 months or something like that

AMerryScot Tue 28-Dec-04 17:04:31

If your UK passport was issued before Oct 2004 you don't need a US visa (if you are otherwise eligible for the Visa Waiver Program). But you will need to be fingerprinted on arrival in the US.

Once the UK issues biometric passports, then there should be no need for a visa or extra fingerprinting.

The issue is for those who need to get a new UK passport between October 2004 and before biometric passports are issued. They will need to make a trip to London and hand over £60 per person (including children) for a B2 visa.

London Embassy

snowdonim Tue 28-Dec-04 17:56:52

I don't understand this at all, it's confusing! I have a passport issued Sept 04 and had no probs getting into the US in Nov. Dh wasn't able to renew his PP until Dec. But this page seems to be saying in para two that, as a UK subject, he won't need a visa while in para three it says he does. I can't see anything about biometric requirements, either. And on this page at the bottom it says the biometric req has been postponed to Oct 2005.

AMerryScot Tue 28-Dec-04 18:54:30

Yes, it is confusing - I think because of a lot of the press coverage earlier in the year, the inability of the UKPA to issue biometric passports, and the subsequent extension of the US-VISIT program.

Anyway, scrub what I said earlier, as the deadline for having a biometric passport has now moved to October 26, 2005. This means that anyone travelling to the US on the VWP between now and then (on a standard machine-readable UK passport) only needs to go through the fingerprinting process on arrival in the US.

If the UKPA starts issuing biometric passports by Oct 26, then there shouldn't be any reason for an otherwise VWP eligible person to get a US visa. But, if biometric passports aren't available by then and your current UK passport expires, you'd need to get a visa. The key thing is to make sure you get your passport renewed before Oct 26 if there's not enough time left on it to take you through to a biometric passport.

US-VISIT extension

suedonim Wed 29-Dec-04 00:46:54

Maybe the test isn't whether you do or don't have a MR or Biomet passport - it's whether or not you can understand the rules and regs!!

MeerkatsUnite Sun 02-Jan-05 18:52:45

A Merryscot's message re the extension to October 2005 is correct.

Would just add that you are now also photographed as well as being fingerprinted (they will take a digital print of your two index fingers) at US immigration.

Children under 16 are not subjected to all this but they still need a visa waiver form (these are green in colour) completed and signed by the parent.

When you do leave the US it is imperative that you as a passenger ensure the visa waiver portion that is stapled into the passport is removed at check in (this is your departure record). If it is not future entry to the US can be problematic (because they can say you have never left their country).

HTH

Meerkats

ladymuck Sun 02-Jan-05 18:56:06

It is also more complicated if you have a UK passport but you're not a subject (or is it citizen I can't remember). My parents have UK p[assports but as they were born in Irlenad can't get any of the usual visa waiver of easy visa options for places like US or Oz.

DEE7479551 Wed 05-Jan-05 20:42:51

Just back from Florida and all travelled on normal passports. We did have photos and fingerprints done but it was no big deal. It is worth picking up the visa waiver forms plus green customs for at airport check in and filling them in whilst waiting to board. It is a bit of a nightmare filling them in on the plane if there is any turbulence as they have to be done in tiny writing and neatly. We saw loads of people being turned back and told to re-write them!

Florida is desperately hot and very, very humid in the summer, could you not go a bit earlier or later?

Hulababy Wed 05-Jan-05 21:07:19

BTW we went to Florida this August and it was very hot and humid, but not unpleasant at all. DD (who was 26 months) coped really well with the heat, didn't complain once. The parks all have fans and water sprays in many of the queues, and for the bigger rides a lot of queing is inside air conditioned buildings too. Just plan to wear natural materials, and nothing too clingy. I found shorts better than skirts and dresses for comfort too.

Batters Wed 05-Jan-05 21:12:31

Would agree with Hulababy re the heat - it is completely bearable - far more so than the UK in August IMO (or London at least!).

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