Visa Information over-load
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jun 27, 2013 6:04 AM Last Post By: marka55
Jun 24, 2013 2:23 PM
Visa Information over-loadHey,
There is so much info about visas and things its all a bit mind boggling...just wondered if anyone could clear it up?
My friend and I are planning a trip in September:
Flying from UK into Toronto, heading to Buffalo where we pick up a car and drive to NYC, then fly out from NYC back to the UK.
The trip is only 10 days.
Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
Jun 24, 2013 2:43 PM
1What is your question? What is not clear?
I'm going to make a bunch of assumptions. You hold a UK passport. You have used the Visa Waiver Wizard and have verified that you are eligible to enter the US under the VWP. You are flying directly to Toronto, no layover in the US on the way.
You go to Buffalo by bus or train. You fill out a form called I-94. You pay a two-part fee. A processing fee of $4. If you are permitted to enter the US under the VWP, you will be charge another $10.
You will most likely be admitted to the US for 90 days or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Things are changing now. You may be given the I-94 form to put in your passport. If that happens, you give the form to the airline when you leave.
Or, you may just get a stamp in your passport and be entered into a database. When you leave, the airline notifies the US government that you were a passenger on a plane that jsut took off for the UK. The computer marks you as having left the country.
You do not need ESTA pre-clearance if you arrive by land. See Citizen of Visa Waiver Country, wants to drive into U.S. from Canada or Mexico, or arrive at a port of call in the U.S. by cruise ship
If you aren't eligible for the VWP, if you fly to Buffalo, or if you transit the US on the way to Canada, things are different.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 25, 2013 8:49 AM
2#1 the fees that you quote are for an ESTA application which the OP does not require if she is flying directly from the UK to Toronto and not flying or sailing into the US, The fee for the green I-94W is $6.
Getting from Toronto to Buffalo, I would take the bus, Megabus and Greyhound are the main carriers and in both cases I would check both the Canadian and US versions of the websites as there can be substantial differences in the fares at some times. There are only two trains a day from Toronto to Niagara Falls, only one of which continues on to Buffalo and New York City.
Edited by: marka55
Jun 25, 2013 10:47 AM
Jun 25, 2013 11:14 AM
Jun 26, 2013 9:36 AM
5#1 I had a look at the second link in your post and it is fascinating how complex the US has made their rules although the reasoning behind this escapes me, apart from it being a make-work scheme for lawyers; in particular the details about arrival by sea:
If you come by ferry (such as between Vancouver Island and Washington state) then you do NOT need an ESTA and the VWP applies (because the US treats those ferries as crossing 'land' borders).
If you come by cruise ship (such as between Vancouver and Alaska) then you do need an ESTA and the VWP applies.
If you come by private boat (or I suppose if you swim) then you do NOT need an ESTA because the VWP does NOT apply, you need a visa, so no cruising through the Thousand Islands or similar.
I wonder if the same applies to private jets, not that I am in a position to test the waters, so to speak.
Jun 26, 2013 10:58 AM
The rule about that is nothing new. In order to enter under the VWP, if you arrive by air or sea, you must travel on a "signatory carrier." These are companies that have signed agreements with the US about the VWP. They agree to return anyone who is rejected under the VWP. They agree to check for ESTA pre-approval and to turn in passenger manifests on departure, and some other stuff. LIST OF SIGNATORY VISA WAIVER PROGRAM (VWP) CARRIERS
They are not only commercial airlines & cruise ships. A number of other "signatory transportation lines" have signed up, such as multinational corporations that have corporate planes for international travel, or freighter lines. Delivery companies like United Parcel Service. Wal-Mart. Ameriprise Financial.
Since pretty much everyone on TT who flies in, is arriving by commercial flight, we tend to ignore that provision. Last time it came up, it involved a ferry from the Bahamas ot Florida. They aren't a signatory carrier.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jun 27, 2013 6:04 AM
7#6 I knew about there being a list of signatory carriers but had never seen it, from the link you gave it looks like a lot of private jet operators are covered and a small family boat with outboard motor has never been covered; but I was surprised to see that certain ferries are classified as Land Borders, that was news to me and probably most other people, I guess some congressman from Washington must have inserted an amendment somewhere along the laws path through Congress.
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