International Travel Document Requirements
IADR recommends that all travelers to the U.S. apply for travel documentation several months in advance of travel.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. If you are coming to the U.S. by air or sea from one of the eligible VWP countries, you DO have to apply for ESTA. If you are not a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country, you are required to have a visa, and therefore ESTA does not apply to you.
If your country is listed as part of the Visa Waiver Program, you should obtain ESTA approval at least 72-hours prior to check-in for your flight to the U.S., but IADR recommends that you apply for your ESTA when you book your travel, as approvals are no longer granted instantly. An ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever occurs first.
Each customer traveling across any international boundary is solely responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents, including any required visas, and for complying with the laws of each country flown from (the departure country), through (any transit country) and into (the destination country.
The U.S. has specific travel document requirements for entry upon landing via air carrier to the U.S. In addition to any travel document requirements for departure, customers must satisfy travel document requirements for entry into the destination country and, depending on the itinerary, for transit through a country. Note that your passports must be valid for at least six months after the IADR meeting.
For entry into the U.S., additional information may be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
The I-94 form applies to all non-U.S. citizens arriving in the U.S., except for the following travelers:
- U.S. citizens
- Returning resident aliens
- Canadian citizens
- Non-U.S. citizens entering the U.S. under the VWP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to streamline the U.S. arrival process for international visitors.
The CBP will scan a traveler’s passport, which generates an electronic arrival record with data previously required on the paper I-94 form. Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. The departure will be recorded electronically with information provided by the carrier or CBP. Learn more at www.cbp.gov/I94.
Why an ESTA Application Gets Denied
Published on: Aug 30, 2019, Last Edited: Aug 30, 2019 | Tags: ESTA Denied, ESTA Travel Not Authorized
Getting denied an ESTA can be a disappointment and cause inconveniences for U.S. bound travelers. However, applicants still have the option to apply for a B1 Business Visa, B2 Tourist Visa or a mix B1/B2.
There are a few common reasons why an ESTA gets denied, or "Travel not Authorized" as it is deemed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A denied ESTA is most likely due to one or more of the following reasons:
- On a previous visit to the U.S, you overstayed beyond the amount of time allowable for your visa or visa waiver.
- On a previous visit to the U.S., you did not have the appropriate visa to work.
- You previously made a request for a visa or visa waiver, and were denied entry into the U.S.
- The answers you provided on your ESTA application form were incorrect, once cross-checked with the U.S. government systems.
- You provided the passport details for a passport that you claimed to be lost or stolen, yet actually was still in your possession.
- You have a criminal record, and regardless of your answer to question 2 on the ESTA application form, you were found to have a conviction history.
- You have the name of someone who committed a crime in your name, or you are a victim of identity theft.
NOTE: If you made a mistake on your ESTA application, view this article and video.
It is important to note that your eligibility alone does not grant you admission to travel to the U.S. under the visa program, nor grant you entry into the U.S. Due to past criminal or immigration history on your record, you may not be permitted to travel under the visa waiver program and under no other circumstances will this change. The government system performs many cross checks across numerous databases to ensure applicants are screened properly. For one reason or another, yours has been declined. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not provide reasons for ESTA application denials nor are they obliged to.