People travelling from the UK to the United States will soon have to gain authorisation to fly prior to boarding.
A new procedure will be put in place at the start of next week which will require travellers from Britain and other countries to register online before departing to the US.
It will be applicable for British and other citizens who are allowed entrance to the States on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Such travellers will legally have to register online with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before they depart in order to get authorisation to board a plane.
ESTA is “a free Internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security” and can be found at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov, which is a US government website.
The information required from travellers is very similar to that which is usually completed onboard a plane on the I-94W forms.
There is no need to have specific travel plans to register with the ESTA and once completed the registration will be valid “for two years or the life of the traveller’s passport, whichever is shorter”. Robert Tuttle, US Ambassador to the UK, said: “ESTA is one way that we are trying to make travel to the United States even easier.
I urge everyone thinking about a trip to the United States to complete an ESTA application to ensure a smooth trip.”
The new procedure will be officially implemented on Monday, January 12.