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Help needed with new US visa requirements

#1
I have recently found out that the days of filling out a visa waiver form prior to entering the states are numbere, instead you have to fill out an online form otherwise you will be turned away at immigration. What I need to know is whether my sister who is in Canada on a student visa needs one to go to the states or can she just hop over the border and be fine?

If there are any well travelled gurus out there who can help it will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

batfink
 
#2
http://www.unitedstatesvisas.gov/visanews/index.html

seems it sgoing to be a bit like an Australian ETA system where you fill in a Visa form online.
according to the website its going to start from January 12, 2009

From the US Visa site :

"DHS Announces Implementation of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Travelers

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today implementation of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which will begin to accept voluntary ESTA applications starting on August 1, 2008. ESTA is a new fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States, and VWP travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the United States. It is anticipated that ESTA will become mandatory for VWP travelers on January 12, 2009."
Im not sure as to land borders, I would imagine this applies to all Non-Americans, I was also given to understand this Visa waiver form last 2 years once accepted.

also http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/laws/gc_1212505190650.shtm
 
#4
No doubt experiences will vary with different people and different Can/US border crossings; for example, the Niagara one is possibly more used to Brits coming through than some of the others, but from what I hear from Brit passport holding friends, albeit long-term Canadian residents that if anything, the border formalities are now more tedious than the cross-ocean points of entry.

Possibly the fact that with the latter they have at least 8 hours warning of the passenger list. Things have changed significantly since the WTC attacks and US Immigration seem to view the Can border as a vulnerable one.

My friends say that it is even more embarrassing when they are travelling together with friends who hold Canadian passports-they (the Canadians) are waved through and have had to wait ages for their Brit companions to get through.

Wouldn't want to put anyone off doing the crossing, as I say, experiences vary but would advise doing as much as possible in advance to ensure a smooth entry into US. And I suppose, return into Canada.
 
#5
Thanks for the heads up on this. From what I've read in the above links, the change is planned for 12 Jan 2009 but is it actually going to happen? I guess it's now up to Obama.

But don't do what my folks did once and forget to give the US Customs back the little slip of green card stapled into your passport when you return to Canada. Years of grief they got for that every time they visited the US.
 
#6
I travelled to the US a lot, and in one trip across the US I crossed the US Canadian border 6 times from the Eastern side (Quebec) to West (Niagara, Manitoba, Point Roberts, Vancouver Island, Peace Arch), I retained the Green slip that is stapled in the Passport with no problems, You should retain this until you FINALLY leave the US, in my Case I landed at San Francisco travelled to Philly up to Quebec and along to Vancouver and back to San Francisco then I handed in my slip there, you don't need to hand it at the checkpoints unless you are not coming back to the US.

with this new system I think this should be done away with, it should all be on record for 2 years every time the Passport is scanned.


If you think the US Border folks are bit ****, you should try the Canadians !!! arrogant, snearing, self important pr1cks in Uniforms.
 

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