US Visa regulation changes in a nutshell

ESTAAs of 12th January 2009, all UK visitors to the US will need to complete an online registration which replaces the Visa Waiver Form (the green card you usually fill out on the plane).

You must have travel authorisation granted by Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) at least 72 hours before your flight, so this is something for Digital Mission to SXSWi attendee's to get sorted ASAP.

British Airways say:

"The application process may take up to 15-20 minutes and authorisation is normally granted immediately, but may take up to 72 hours. Once granted, Travel Authorisation is valid for multiple entries to the US for two years, unless any answers to the YES/NO questions on the form change or a new passport is required. You are also required to provide Advance Passenger Information to the US government each time you travel to the US."

Here are some handy links with more information:

The online application form can be a bit tricky to find, so we've provided a link below. The form and further information is listed on the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) website.

It looks remarkably similar to the green paper version that always proved tricky to fill out using an airline seat-back table.

N.B. When putting together this post, there were lots of sites offering to help fill in the ESTA Waiver Form for a fee. Currently, this isn't required on the ESTA website.

Waiver Form


It works

I can verify that this does only take aroun 15mins as I filled in one myself when travelling to the US. I do like avoiding the complex US visa permits system. We are lucky in the UK to have this easy approach when it is so much harder for many others with more need.

Useful Information

Interesting and usefull post, your information help me a lot. thanks for sharing.

Visa Waiver travel to USA

I intend to travel to US and during stay visit Mexico Upon departing US for Mexico must I reapply for entry into uS ? or is the ESTA authorisation good

I suggest contacting an

I suggest contacting an immigration specialst to get help with this (if you still plan to go ahead).

Re-entering US from Mexico

Hiya...sounds like you need to get professional advice on this one. Might be worth giving the embassy a call to verify this, finding info online proved pretty difficult which is why we ended up writing this blog post. Good luck.