Passport Rules Affecting USA and Canada

It's crucial that you are informed correctly on how travelers from the UK enter the USA and Canada. You may discover a guide to the standard conditions and regulations for traveling to both the USA and Canada in this article. However, regulations are subject to change, and each admission is affected by a unique set of circumstances.

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Entering the USA

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization ) is a requirement for entry into the USA under US government law. You must finish the ESTA application process online if you are eligible to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme. ESTA requests need to be submitted at least 72 hours before departure and at the time of booking your trip.

Entering Canada:

ETA is a prerequisite for entrance for foreign nationals without visas flying into Canada. British citizens are included in this. It will make it possible for Canada to check visitors before you get to the border crossing. The authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for five years or until the expiration of your passport, whichever occurs first.

Visa and Passport Requirements

Each visitor is in charge of making sure they have a current passport and either an ESTA or a visa to enter the United States. UK people who wish to go to the US without a visa must possess an electronic passport (e-passport). Please check to see if you have an e-passport before making travel arrangements.

What is an e-passport?

E-passports have an electronic chip inside that stores the same data that is printed on the data page of the physical passport, including the holder's name, date of birth, biometric identification number, and other biographical details. In order to prevent unauthorized readers from reading or "skimming" the data stored on the e-Passport chip, the US, the UK, and all other nations that are qualified for visa-free travel to the US provide e-passports with security safeguards. e-Passports have a number of advantages, including helping to securely identify the traveler, defending against identity theft, and preserving privacy.

If you don't have an e-passport, what should you do?

Before your subsequent visa-free visit to the United States, you must apply for a new e-passport if you hold an older, non-electronic passport and still want to travel without a visa. You can apply for a new ESTA once you have received your new e-passport.

Expansion of Biometrics

Since 2018, you must submit your fingerprints and a photo when applying for a visitor visa, a study or work permit (aside from for US citizens), or permanent residence. A tourist visa, study permit, or work permit applicant will only need to provide their biometrics once every ten years in order to simplify subsequent visits to Canada.

Amendments in rules due to Covid-19:

No symptoms or signs of COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed into Canada. You must spend 14 days in quarantine at your own expense if you have not received your full course of vaccination with an approved COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of approved vaccinations. You are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement if you have received the entire course of an approved COVID-19 vaccination or an approved combination of vaccines. You received your most recent dose at least 14 days before entering Canada. Within 72 hours of your departure, you must provide your vaccination record. Moreover, you need to fulfill every other entry condition.

Rules about passport validity:

Your ability to travel will not be impacted by the possibility that it won't be valid for at least six months after your date of departure from the United States.

So, your passport just has to be valid while you are visiting the US. If you are going without a visa and your passport has less than 90 days left on it, you will only be allowed entry into the country until the day your passport expires.

Passports of citizens of Canada do not need to be valid for an additional six months after the scheduled departure date. Only the date of their anticipated departure must be listed on their passports.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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