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DP has booked flights to US on Thurs - no visa sorted. Is he screwed?!

(24 Posts)
ThisCharmingFlan Mon 02-Nov-09 21:51:52

File under "numpty"...

A couple of months ago DP booked flights to travel on his own to a friend's wedding in the US. He flies this Thursday. This evening, I suddenly remember that the requirements have changed (a while ago I believe, never affected me as I've never been!) and the UK is not under the visa waiver programme anymore.

Cue frantic visit to the US Embassy site which keeps ruddy crashing angry , but I'm gleaning that he now needs to go to the Embassy in person, and indeed would have needed to apply for an appointment to do this waaaayy in advance.

Oh dear.

Stupid question alert, but am I right in thinking that he needs to go to London even for a non-immigrant visa for a 5-day tourist visit?

To your knowledge, how helpful are they at dealing with last-minute cases like DP?


BecauseImWorthIt Mon 02-Nov-09 21:54:11

Since when are we not in the visa waiver programme? Are you sure?

stealthsquiggle Mon 02-Nov-09 21:55:24

really shock? News to me...

geordieminx Mon 02-Nov-09 21:55:45

Dont think so - just needs to fill in application on line here

AttillatheMeerkat is the expert on this though - hopefully she will see this thread

Katz Mon 02-Nov-09 21:55:53

is he a british national holding a british passport? then he just needs to fill in an online form and its all done.

winestein Mon 02-Nov-09 21:56:06

We are in the visa waiver program - I'll try and find the link (it's just a form but it has to be filled in)

ThisCharmingFlan Mon 02-Nov-09 21:56:29

a glimmer of hope that I've got the wrong end of the stick? <hopeful>

winestein Mon 02-Nov-09 21:57:08

Ok - won't bother - Geordieminx beat me to it smile


stealthsquiggle Mon 02-Nov-09 21:57:09

this suggests it is much easier than the OP implies?

pregnantpeppa Mon 02-Nov-09 21:57:34

I recall suggestions in the news that we would no longer be in the visa waiver scheme but there would be a fast track scheme for us, however I have just got on the US embassy website and it definitely says we are still in the visa waiver scheme

Details about the Visa Waiver Program
Citizens of the following countries; the United Kingdom, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland may be eligible to travel to the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program if they are traveling for business, pleasure or are in transit, and they meet all of the following requirements.

However he needs to have one of the new electronic chip passports I think - has he got one of those - still reading to work out what happens if you don't have one

RubberDuck Mon 02-Nov-09 21:57:45

Dh went to San Fransisco two weeks ago and went through without a US Visa - you have to fill in a green form as long as you have a UK passport. He says there's a possibility you might need a recent e-passport though (the one with the biometric stuff in it)

You want ESTA not US Embassy btw

passthevino Mon 02-Nov-09 21:58:16

Think it's called an ESTA and just needs to be submitted before you check in. You should have enough time I think.

winestein Mon 02-Nov-09 21:58:22

You need to prove that you are eligible for Visa waiver by filling in the online form Geordie has provided link to smile

RubberDuck Mon 02-Nov-09 21:59:34

"The passport must have a machine-readable zone." - i.e one of the newer passports/e-passport.

pregnantpeppa Mon 02-Nov-09 22:00:10

OK he only needs an electronic passport if its a new one - presumably OK not to be electronic if an old one. I am sure you can just fill in the visa waiver form on the plane as I have done for years (last went Nov 07 and filled in on plane)

Visa free travelers, including children, entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) require individual machine-readable passports (MRP). This requirement has been in place since October 26, 2004.

If the passport was issued, renewed/extended between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 it must contain a digital photograph.

If the passport was issued, renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006, it must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information. Follow this link for an example of such a passport: .

ThisCharmingFlan Mon 02-Nov-09 22:00:43




thank you everyone.

File ME under "numpty"

pregnantpeppa Mon 02-Nov-09 22:02:32

That British Airways link says that passports issued before the 26 October 2005 are exempt from the e-passport requirement so don't panic. And it makes clear you can fill in the form on the plane or at the airport - on every flight I've ever been on to the US they just hand out the forms on the plane.
I would get your DH to ring the airline in the morning just to check.

dizzydixies Mon 02-Nov-09 22:21:58

thank god for this thread, DH and I fly out on Thurs!!!

LynetteScavo Mon 02-Nov-09 22:28:51

He needs to fill out the form in georgies link..and when he gets to the UK airport he has to give an address of where he will be staying in the US. A random hotel is fine, but he needs to put something or the wont let him out of the UK. grin

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Nov-09 14:57:46


Have just seen your question.

Do not panic!.

The UK is still within the US visa waiver scheme (these forms will be given to him on the plane. He will need to complete the green visa waiver form and a customs form).
He must ensure that when he departs the US the departure record (part of the green form will be stapled into his passport) is removed from his passport. This is normally done at check in.

What he does need to fill in online now is the ESTA which is the electronic travel authorisation. This needs to be done by your partner asap as it is a mandatory requirement.

Your partner must have his accommdation arranged for the first night - this is now insisted on by the American authorities.

ESTA is this web address:-

He must NOT use any other ESTA travel website, this is the official US govt one. It is free to apply.

hannahsaunt Tue 03-Nov-09 15:06:38

Unless, of course, he has a conviction (inc spent ones) for anything e.g. speeding [hard stare at own dh]

geordieminx Tue 03-Nov-09 15:51:01

Told you Atilla was the woman. grin

DadInsteadofMum Wed 04-Nov-09 11:06:26

Speeding is OK as it is not a crime of moral turpitude - what the hell are crimes of moral turpitude - see here

hannahsaunt Wed 04-Nov-09 19:44:47

Speeding isn't ok if it results in a conviction ... we've been through the process in the last three weeks so know the cost ...

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