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Sterling Travel : Travel Tools : US Immigration Requirements

US Immigration Requirements

What is Secure Flight?

TSA Secure FlightSecure Flight is an enhanced security check for passengers wishing to fly to/from/within the United States, implemented as of 1 November 2010.

When travelling to/from the United States, travellers will now be required to provide the following minimum Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) when making a reservation:

As of 8 March 2012, the TSA (US Transportation Security Administration) has extended the requirement for airlines to collect and submit Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) information to customers potentially flying over US airspace. This implies that SFPD information will be required for travellers flying to/from Canada, Mexico, Cuba & Dominican Republic.

If you are booking within 72 hours of departure the data must be provided at time of booking. If you have provided your full APIS data (see below), then that data will also satisfy Secure Flight.

Redress Number

Redress is an opportunity for passengers who believe they have been improperly or unfairly delayed or prohibited from boarding an aircraft to seek resolution and avoid future delays.

For more information on the redress process, please visit

What is APIS?

For security reasons the US, most EU States, and other countries now require airlines to provide personal details about their passengers before they travel. This is known as Advance Passenger Information (API) or Advance Passenger Information System (APIS).

When do I complete APIS?

Sterling Travel Management will usually ask you to supply the passenger details found on the ‘machine-readable’ page of your passport - that is the page containing your photograph.

You may be asked for your:

Your mandatory Advance Passenger Information (APIS) can then be submitted in one of the following three ways:

Details must be submitted for countries that require APIS prior to boarding the aircraft.

What is ESTA?

ESTA logoElectronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

From 8 September 2010, all ESTA registration applications or renewals on or after that date will require a $14.00 fee payment by credit or debit card.

Apply for an ESTA

When do I complete ESTA?

Registration for ESTA is mandatory. Citizens of the countries listed are currently eligible to apply for ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

The US Department for Homeland Security suggests that registration takes place no less than 72 hours before travelling. However, you can submit your details any time before travelling to the US.

Once your ESTA is confirmed by email it will be valid for 2 years or until your passport expires. You will need to re-apply for ESTA if you acquire a new passport.

Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act 2015

Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, travellers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular appointment process at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

In addition, as of 1 April 2016, you must have an e-passport to use ESTA.

Read More

ESTA Q&A  US DHS - Visa Waiver Program

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