All British Passport holders entering the USA on the visa waiver programme are required to hold a machine-readable passport. If do not hold a machine-readable passport you will need to obtain a visa for entry or apply for a new passport. Travellers without a machine readable passport who do not have a visa will be denied entry into the USA and possibly fined.
If you have any doubt about travel to the USA or require further information please visit the US Embassy website on www.usembassy.org.uk. Please note that passengers are responsible for ensuring they have the correct travel documentation prior to departure.
From 9 September 2010, UK travellers looking to enter the United States will be charged £9 to apply for the compulsory ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation).
UK travellers looking to enter the United States will be charged $14 (USD) to apply for the compulsory ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation).
ESTA online application for entry to the USA
IMPORTANT CHANGE ** TO UNITED STATES ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
** FOR ALL HOLIDAY MAKERS ** FROM JANUARY 2009
If you are planning a trip to the United States from January 12th 2009, be advised that the entry procedure has now changed. From the new year, anyone planning to enter the United States under the Visa Waver Scheme must register online under the new Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) at least 72 hours before they fly. The forms are available from the ESTA website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta
You must complete an ESTA application at least 72 hours before flying. Any traveller who fails to complete an ESTA application at least 3 days before departure will almost certainly be refused entry into the country under new US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations. If you are even considering visiting the States, it's worth filling out an ESTA application now as they are valid for two years.
Important: If you are refused entry because you do not hold the correct travel documents or have had your application for ESTA rejected - you will NOT be entitled to any form of refund or covered by your travel insurance policy.