All visitors must supply certain information online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) if they wish to enter the USA using the current Visa Waiver Program (the alternative is to obtain a Visa from the US Embassy). ESTA is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and currently charge $21 payable online for authorisation that will be valid for two years. A link to the ESTA website can be found on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/entry-requirements for the latest information. We strongly recommend that you complete the online ESTA process as soon as you have booked (and at least a minimum of 72 hours before departure) because in the unlikely event that you do not receive an ESTA approval for travel, you will need to apply directly to the US Embassy for a Visa. Visitors to Canada will require an ETA.
APIS & SFPD
The United States Customs and Border Protection require that all airlines collect and transmit certain passenger information prior to departure, using their Advanced Passenger Information Systems (APIS). The information required includes your country of residence, the full address (including the zip/postal code) for your first night’s accommodation in the US. Please ensure that you enter this information via your airlines website before leaving for the airport to ensure that you do not encounter any unnecessary delays.
Finally you are also required to supply Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) at the time of booking which is passed to the US authorities for security reasons. This includes your full names as they appear on the passport, dates of birth and an emergency phone number of the passenger. It essential that this information is provided accurately within 72 hours of making your booking otherwise your airline may cancel your booking and you would not be entitled to a refund on any of your holiday or be entitled to compensation.
Travel to or through Canada requires an ETA. The ETA is an entry requirement for all passengers from countries that currently don’t need a Visa to visit Canada. For all other destinations please check https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.