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ESTA Visa requirements


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My wife and I are considering a Southern Caribbean cruise with Carnival for early 2012.

 

The itinerary includes visits to San Juan, St Lucia, St Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, St Maarten and St Thomas.

 

The ESTA visa we currently have for entry into the USA will have expired by the time we cruise and as there is now a charge for these visas we are wondering whether or not we will actually need one for the cruise.

 

Does anyone know if any of the above locations are US Territories or whether they are all independent states.

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

John

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The FAQ on the ESTA website does say that you must have one even if you are transiting the US on the way elsewhere...

 

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1094/kw/esta/session/L3NpZC8zRG5uYSplaw%3D%3D/p/0/c/0

 

I am a citizen of a VWP country and am only transiting the U.S. by air? You must apply for ESTA even if you are only transiting the U.S. by air. In the address field of the application, write "In Transit."
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Even if you are only visiting the US for just one day, you will be required to fill in an ESTA. Once completed, they are valid for two years.

 

I applied for an ESTA for all four members of my family just before they started charging for them. Is odd though that they are valid for two years, and you don't necessarily have to indicate your end destination in the country.

 

I do wonder however, what the US Government are going to do with the money they 'earn' from ESTA's. Officially they say it's to promote tourism. Well, hello, does the US need more tourism advertising? If it was to pay for additional security measures, then would be for it, especially if they could employ better security equipment, so we don't need to take our shoes off or unbag our laptops when passing through security.

 

ScrozUK

Hopefully off to Dallas next year. .

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At the risk of sounding rather stupid, my wife and I have ESTAs as we sailed out of FLL earlier this year but I can't remember when they were issued so can only guess when they might expire. Is there a way of checking or obtaining copies? Alan

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At the risk of sounding rather stupid, my wife and I have ESTAs as we sailed out of FLL earlier this year but I can't remember when they were issued so can only guess when they might expire. Is there a way of checking or obtaining copies? Alan

 

From the ESTA FAQs:

 

Can I update my ESTA application, get my status, or board a plane if I don't have my authorization number?

If a traveler loses, forgets, or does not have access to his or her application number or travel status, he or she may retrieve the application number, through the ESTA Web site by entering the applicants name, date of birth, passport number and passport issuing country.

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I couldn't remember my Esta number but you can easily recover it from via the website by putting in your passport and date of birth details. Mine is still valid but my husband has to fork out the fee, which is quite annoying.

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Many thanks for the replies, sorry for the delay in getting back onto the board.

 

The cruise starts in San Juan in Puerto Rico but we will actually be joining it in Barbados. We will not be touching down anywhere in the US mainland at all so I am hopeful we do not need an ESTA this time.

 

Many thanks once again.

 

John

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Many thanks for the replies, sorry for the delay in getting back onto the board.

 

The cruise starts in San Juan in Puerto Rico but we will actually be joining it in Barbados. We will not be touching down anywhere in the US mainland at all so I am hopeful we do not need an ESTA this time.

 

Many thanks once again.

 

John

For the sake of £9 is it really worth taking the risk?

Supposed your plane was diverted to the USA because of technical issues. Where does the cruise end? If back in SJU then you need the ESTA.

 

If you are traveling visa free under the Visa Waiver Program and you will be entering the Puerto Rico by air or sea carrier, you will be required to register under ESTA before departing the United Kingdom.

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For the sake of £9 is it really worth taking the risk?

Supposed your plane was diverted to the USA because of technical issues. Where does the cruise end? If back in SJU then you need the ESTA.

 

If you are traveling visa free under the Visa Waiver Program and you will be entering the Puerto Rico by air or sea carrier, you will be required to register under ESTA before departing the United Kingdom.

 

 

So I should get an ESTA if I go to Mexico on holiday, just in case I get diverted to the US for technical issues. I'm sure the US has processes in place for flights diverting there, when the US is not the actual destination.

 

If you're not entering US territory you don't need an ESTA.

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Albert

 

You have raised an interesting point.

 

I am comfortable about not needing one just in case we get diverted however the cruise starts and finishes in San Juan. Although we will join in Barbados we will remain on the ship until it gets back to Barbados, however in San Juan as this is the main port for the cruise we are required to leave the ship and go through customs, we can then immediately rejoin the ship but we must go through customs.

 

Are you saying San Juan in Puerto Rico is classed as US territory and we will need an ESTA to get through customs???

 

It is not the money aspect we just want to know if we need one or not?

 

Many thanks

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Albert

 

You have raised an interesting point.

 

I am comfortable about not needing one just in case we get diverted however the cruise starts and finishes in San Juan. Although we will join in Barbados we will remain on the ship until it gets back to Barbados, however in San Juan as this is the main port for the cruise we are required to leave the ship and go through customs, we can then immediately rejoin the ship but we must go through customs.

 

Are you saying San Juan in Puerto Rico is classed as US territory and we will need an ESTA to get through customs???

 

It is not the money aspect we just want to know if we need one or not?

 

Many thanks

 

Acording to this YOU DO NEED AN ESTA as a UK citizen

http://www.usembassy.org.uk/visaservices/?p=533

 

So unless there is a transit option(unlikely) I think you may need one.

 

The cruise line should be making this clear for UK people boarding at Barbados since they will have the problem if UK pax don't bother.

 

I suspect a lot won't unless told.

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Albert

 

You have raised an interesting point.

 

I am comfortable about not needing one just in case we get diverted however the cruise starts and finishes in San Juan. Although we will join in Barbados we will remain on the ship until it gets back to Barbados, however in San Juan as this is the main port for the cruise we are required to leave the ship and go through customs, we can then immediately rejoin the ship but we must go through customs.

 

Are you saying San Juan in Puerto Rico is classed as US territory and we will need an ESTA to get through customs???

 

It is not the money aspect we just want to know if we need one or not?

 

Many thanks

 

As insidecabin has just said and beat me to it, San Juan is US territory, so an ESTA is needed

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