Can British citizens travel to USA without a visa?

The US has a visa system which forms part of their immigration and security controls. Non US citizens that wish to enter the US must have either the relevant visa for their visit to the US, or an ESTA if they are eligible to apply for one. British citizens are able to apply for an ESTA , provided that their visit fits the criteria of an ESTA.

Who can apply for an ESTA?

An ESTA can be applied for where the applicant is a citizen of one of countries in the agreed Visa Waiver Program. There are currently 39 countries that are members of the VWP, including the UK, Ireland, Australia and numerous EU countries too. To join the VWP, the country must fit the criteria set by US authorities, such as low numbers of visa refusals.

The ESTA application requires the applicant to provide answers to security questions and people with criminal convictions, certain health conditions and high-risk travel history will generally have the ESTA declined.

How is an ESTA different to a visa?

There are many differences between visas and the ESTA, with the main one being that an ESTA is much easier and quicker to apply for and is also cheaper to apply for than a US visa. The ESTA is only available if the trip to the US is for less than 90 days, if the traveler wanted to visit the US for longer, they would need a visa instead. There are also restrictions around the purpose of the trip, with an ESTA only being valid for trips that are for tourism, business, medical or transit purposes. When traveling with an ESTA, you are not permitted to work or study in the US, a visa would be required for those purposes.

How can British tourists apply for a US ESTA?

British citizens simply need to complete an online application form for their ESTA , which usually takes around 10 minutes to complete. Their details will then get screened and they will find out within 72 hours whether their application has been successful. Often, the response comes much quicker than 72 hours and can even be received within minutes of submitting the application.

Where do British tourists visit in the US?

A high volume of British tourists visit the US each year and the main hotspots include New York, California and Florida. A trip to the US offers a real mix of holiday types from sightseeing, to beach holidays and adventure style holidays.

Are there any travel restrictions to the US?

Before making any plans to visit the US, you should check the latest news regarding any travel restrictions. You are required to have a passport that is valid for at least six months and the requirements of the ESTA is that you have return flights booked to show that you are not intending on staying in the US. You should also check the restrictions regarding taking any items such as food or medical items


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