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I am travelling to or through the United States. Do I need a Visa?

If you hold a UK British Citizen passport, the chances are you do not need a visa and should be able to travel under the US Visa Waiver Program by applying for an ESTA.
Please note, you will also need an ESTA if you are travelling to Puerto Rico (San Juan) or the US Virgin Islands (St Croix, St Thomas & St John)

You must complete the application procedure at least 72 hours before you depart for the US.

You may have a valid ESTA from a previous trip. As long as your details (such as your passport number) do not change, an ESTA is valid for two years from the date of issue.

If you need to apply for your first or a new ESTA, follow this link to ensure that you reach the official website:


The cost of applying for an ESTA is $14 as of March 1st 2019.

Please note: you will not receive any emails confirming your ESTA status. It is recommended that you take a note of your Application number when you have applied.

Often, the ESTA is approved instantly. On occasions, it may be listed as "Authorization Pending" . If this is the case, you may wish to check on the status again at a later time. Approvals can take upto 72 hours.

If your authorization is declined, we recommend that you  contact the US Embassy as it is likely you will have to arrange for a visa to travel.

If you are landing in the US, to then take a connecting flight to another country, and you will not be leaving the US airport between flights, you can select "In Transit" for your ESTA type.

If you are leaving the airport, you cannot use "In Transit" and must complete the ESTA process with all requested details.

If you disembark a cruise in the US, and are going to the airport to fly back to the UK, you must still obtain an ESTA.

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