From 1 April 2016, all travellers wishing to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport). British passports issued since October 2006 are ePassports and carry this internationally recognised symbol on the front cover. Those travelling under the VWP arriving by air or sea should provide details online at least 72 hours before travel. This is known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation or ESTA. If you do not have an ESTA you’ll be refused travel to the USA. For more information, and to apply online, visit the official ESTA website.
APPROVED ESTAs FOR ENTRY INTO TO THE US FOR THOSE WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY TRAVELLED TO IRAN, IRAQ, SUDAN, AND SYRIA, OR FOR THOSE WHO HOLD DUAL NATIONALITY OF THESE COUNTRIES
Approved ESTAs for entry into to the US for those who have previously travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria, or for those who hold dual nationality of these countries, could be revoked from 21 January 2016 following a change to the VWP qualifying rules. You are advised to check with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate before travelling to determine if you need to apply for a visa. Changes to on-line information on the ESTA website about the new rules are not expected to be made until the end of February 2016. Therefore, if you have doubts about whether you're eligible to enter the US under the VWP, or if you have any questions about visa matters generally, you should contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate for advice.
CANADA ESTA FROM 15 MARCH 2016
Whilst we currently have limited information regarding the implementation of a digital travel verification system this will be a requirement from March 2016. We understand that there will be a $7 fee and it is valid for 5 years. For further information please contact: CIC-ETA-AVE@cic.gc.ca. The ETA, is a confirmation of a foreign national’s eligibility to travel to Canada. While quite similar to the typical visa, the ETA application will be conducted online. The Canadian ETA system will affect foreign nationals from countries that are visa-exempt, namely travellers hailing from select nations in Europe as well as individuals from New Zealand and Australia.
Meanwhile, foreign nationals from countries that are not visa-exempt will not have to file ETA applications as there is a separate travel verification process specifically allotted for them. A traveller will log onto the website of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and apply for an ETA by submitting required personal information such as name and date of birth and possibly a copy of one’s fingerprint, too. Authorisation to travel will then be dispensed via the site and the traveller will need to print this out and submit to the appropriate officials together with other travel documents prior to leaving for Canada. Since persons deemed undesirable or inadmissible, such as those with criminal records or those with no-fly orders, may be identified more effectively through the ETA system, then their entry into the country may be prevented.