From January 12th 2009, new procedures will be introduced for USA entry.
If you plan to travel there, YOU NEED TO DO THE FOLLOWING :
At this stage, 33 Countries have a US Visa Waiver agreement with the USA – including Ireland and the UK. This meant that simply presenting your Passport and Air Ticket at the gate got you through. NOT ANYMORE. From January 12th, citizens of the 33 Visa Waiver countries must register online at least 72 hours before departure. It is anticipated that only about 1% of the applicants will be turned down – criminals, dodgy Passports, etc. Most will be approved instantly.
TIP OF THE DAY : Do not wait till 72 hours before applying. You might forget and spoil a trip. The actual approval is valid for TWO years. You don’t have to have your flight booked in advance. I am going to apply for mine in January and just have it on file.
To get your ESTA (Electronic System for Authorisation)
AFTER JANUARY 12th simply log on to this rather non-user-friendly address :