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Kinniegirl

ETSA visa for USA. Do you for shore excursions

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We’re going to be in San Francisco and Hawaii   Do we need an ETSA  visa

 

also read if they ask for your us address that because your on a cruise ship you leave it blank

 

thanks

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Assuming that you're UK passport holders, then almost certainly you DO need an ESTA but you DON'T need a Visa. They are not the same thing - in fact you can't have both as ESTAs are only applicable for people from countries which do not need a Visa! Only if you've been refused entry before, or get rejected when you apply for your ESTA, will you need to apply for a Visa instead.

 

Since you'll definitely be coming in at least a day before with that amount of flying (personally I'd do several days before unless you are extremely familiar with adjusting to new time zones!) that means your first hotel should be the address you use. You cannot leave the address field blank, but it will allow you to write 'unknown' if you genuinely do not know where you are going to stay yet - but if you were going straight to the ship you should use the address of the pier, including Zip Code if you can find it.

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Posted (edited)

Even if you flew into (say) Miami, arriving at 10.00 am, hopped in a taxi to the port, boarded the ship and sailed at 2.30pm you would still need an ESTA ( or visa if ineligible).

 

You should get your Esta at least 72 hours before arrival. If you need a visa, this is slow and hugely bureaucratic. Apply at least 2 months prior to departure.

 

Be aware that the USA does not recognise the concept of a 'spent conviction'.  If you lie on the ESTA application, you will, in all probability, be found out ( there is a growing data share arrangement between US and UK police) and either not get ESTA clearance or be refused entry at the US border

Edited by Sancho_proudfoot

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, martincath said:

Assuming that you're UK passport holders, then almost certainly you DO need an ESTA but you DON'T need a Visa. They are not the same thing - in fact you can't have both as ESTAs are only applicable for people from countries which do not need a Visa! Only if you've been refused entry before, or get rejected when you apply for your ESTA, will you need to apply for a Visa instead.

 

Since you'll definitely be coming in at least a day before with that amount of flying (personally I'd do several days before unless you are extremely familiar with adjusting to new time zones!) that means your first hotel should be the address you use. You cannot leave the address field blank, but it will allow you to write 'unknown' if you genuinely do not know where you are going to stay yet - but if you were going straight to the ship you should use the address of the pier, including Zip Code if you can find it.

Thanks.  We’re cruising from the uk  so will be sailing into San Francisco and Hawaii on the ship

 

 

Edited by Kinniegirl

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Sancho_proudfoot said:

Even if you flew into (say) Miami, arriving at 10.00 am, hopped in a taxi to the port, boarded the ship and sailed at 2.30pm you would still need an ESTA ( or visa if ineligible).

 

You should get your Esta at least 72 hours before arrival. If you need a visa, this is slow and hugely bureaucratic. Apply at least 2 months prior to departure.

 

Be aware that the USA does not recognise the concept of a 'spent conviction'.  If you lie on the ESTA application, you will, in all probability, be found out ( there is a growing data share arrangement between US and UK police) and either not get ESTA clearance or be refused entry at the US border

Good points about the visa - but - it can take a lot longer than 2 months to get a visitor's visa - allow a year if there are issues that would preclude one getting an ESTA (bitter experience talking here). Also be prepared for extra 'chats' at the US border (twice I've been in to US and twice had to have a chat with an officer, even though I hold a valid 5 year visa).

Edited by SteveH2508

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13 minutes ago, Kinniegirl said:

Thanks.  We’re cruising from the uk  so will be sailing into San Francisco and Hawaii on the ship

In that case you should be able to enter the first US pier you're supposed to dock at, or I think you can also say 'Unknown' address but put the ships details in as your local Contact. Personally I'd do the first port, as that is technically your Port of Entry to the USA so it makes it all nice & tidy.

 

SF & Hawaii are your ONLY stops in the US on a cruise from the UK? Even if it's a round the world via Europe/Africa/Asia first that seems really light on US stops! Or are you maybe thinking of just overnight port stops? As noted above, even a second on US soil and you need to do the paperwork (actually, even if you don't want to get off the ship but it enters US waters). It's really unusual for cruises from Hawaii to go one-way to SF (they can't legally sell that leg one-way due to the PVSA), so I'm intrigued who's offering such a route!

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11 minutes ago, martincath said:

SF & Hawaii are your ONLY stops in the US on a cruise from the UK? Even if it's a round the world via Europe/Africa/Asia first that seems really light on US stops!

Some of the world cruises that visit San Francisco and Hawaii also stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa. I doubt that affects an ESTA, but I am no ESTA expert.

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24 minutes ago, martincath said:

In that case you should be able to enter the first US pier you're supposed to dock at, or I think you can also say 'Unknown' address but put the ships details in as your local Contact. Personally I'd do the first port, as that is technically your Port of Entry to the USA so it makes it all nice & tidy.

 

SF & Hawaii are your ONLY stops in the US on a cruise from the UK? Even if it's a round the world via Europe/Africa/Asia first that seems really light on US stops! Or are you maybe thinking of just overnight port stops? As noted above, even a second on US soil and you need to do the paperwork (actually, even if you don't want to get off the ship but it enters US waters). It's really unusual for cruises from Hawaii to go one-way to SF (they can't legally sell that leg one-way due to the PVSA), so I'm intrigued who's offering such a route!

P&O's world cruise on Arcadia only touches SF and Hawaii in the USA

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2 minutes ago, jocap said:

P&O's world cruise on Arcadia only touches SF and Hawaii in the USA

Thanks for the info! I guess OP is sailing on P&O then.

3 minutes ago, whogo said:

Some of the world cruises that visit San Francisco and Hawaii also stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa. I doubt that affects an ESTA, but I am no ESTA expert.

If they head from Hawaii to a not-North-American port that would get around the PVSA just fine - or only sell legs from Any Other Country to a US port with nobody embarking in Hawaii - but yes, no impact on ESTA regardless.

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Am I missing something here?

Complications about convictions? How did that crop-up?

PVSA regulations?  An unnecessary mention, it's nothing to do with the OP - it's for the cruise line to comply, and they know what they're doing.

 

Very simply, as you'll have gathered, assuming your passport says you're a British citizen (various other categories and other nationalities too) you need an ESTA. 

An ESTA is actually a visa-waiver but the only difference that it makes to the average Joe is that it's quicker, simpler, and cheaper than a visa.

You need it for US territory - that means main 48 States plus Hawaii & Alaska and other US territories such as the US Virgin Islands. Probably also other territories like American Samoa - I don't know about them but it makes no odds cos the you need an ESTA anyway.

 

You get your ESTA on-line. Use only the US govt website ( you don't need a visa agency but don't use one by mistake - they try to look official and charge an extra fee).

The website to use is https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/application.html?execution=e1s1 and the govt fee is $14.

An ESTA lasts for two years, so don't apply until a few weeks / month-or-two before you travel unless you suspect a problem. But altho it's normally issued on-line a day or two after you apply don't leave it so late in case of a hiccup such as having the same name as an undesirable which can delay it by a week or so.

 

Yes, you need to complete the address line. If your first US landfall is Miami, put something like

(ship's name ) cruise ship, Port of Miami.

If you know the pier number, that too. If you can find the zip-code (post-code) that too - though you'll probably run out of space :classic_biggrin:

It's only that first address that you need, you won't need to update with subsequent ports or addresses - even if you return to the US in a year or two before your ESTA expires. All of which makes a nonsense of the need for an address but hey, bureaucracy is the same the world over. :classic_rolleyes:

 

Print off the ESTA when it arrives in your e-mail & pop it with your passport. You probably won't have to produce it - the E of ESTA is for "electronic" and immigration officers should know its in order when they scan your passport.

 

Long post for a very simple application :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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JB

re complications about convictions - technically, even an arrest without charge can b*gg*r up an ESTA application (if you declare it). I very much doubt that it would be on record if it were a few years ago, but the consequences of it being found out are dire - basically you are barred for life from the US for telling porkies on a visa/ESTA application.

 

People need to be aware of the implications if they are in that situation.

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On 6/21/2019 at 6:20 AM, Kinniegirl said:

We’re going to be in San Francisco and Hawaii  

Do we need an ESTA  visa ===> Yes you do

 

also read if they ask for your us address that

because your on a cruise ship you leave it blank

 

No you don't leave it blank -

I stated the name of my ship and my cabin number, per booking!

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2 hours ago, SteveH2508 said:

Also be prepared for extra 'chats' at the US border

(twice I've been in to US and twice had to have a chat with an officer,

even though I hold a valid 5 year visa).

 

A U.S. Visa is no guarantee of admission!

 

It is the prerogative of the U.S. Immigration Officer at point of entry

to allow you -or refuse you- entry at that point. Thus the chats.

 

Take nothing for granted. This is 2019, and life/travel is not getting easier!

Have ALL your ducks in a row!

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3 minutes ago, Aplmac said:

 

A U.S. Visa is no guarantee of admission!

 

It is the perogative of the U.S. Immigration Officer at point of entry

to allow you -or refuse you- entry at that point. Thus the chats.

 

Take nothing for granted. This is 2019, and life/travel is not getting easier!

Have ALL your ducks in a row!

Well aware of that - let's see what happens on Wednesday when we visit the US again. 

A geriatric British ex-squaddie married to a Yank doesn't really pose much of a threat so I'm not too concerned:classic_rolleyes:.

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2 hours ago, jocap said:

P&O's world cruise on Arcadia only touches SF and Hawaii in the USA

Princess world cruise from Australia has only New York and Charleston as US ports this year.  It differs ever year.  In 2009 we had SAN Francisco, New York, Boston and Newport.

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10 hours ago, whogo said:

Some of the world cruises that visit San Francisco and Hawaii also stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa. I doubt that affects an ESTA, but I am no ESTA expert.

We (UK citizens) visited American Samoa in March on a cruise round trip from Auckland, and didn't need to get an ESTA - one of the sites we enquired upon said the following "Australian, New Zealand and citizens of the United Kingdom upon entering American Samoa are issued a 30 day permit under the US Visa Waiver Program".

 

As always, it's best to check a few sources to get the reliable answers.

Hope this helps.

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This is taken from the P&O faq page: 

 

"If you are travelling to the US on board one of our ships and you are not staying ashore, you are classed as 'in transit' and can select this during the application process.

Alternatively you can select 'Unknown' and put the name of the ship as the 'Contact'. If you are staying in a hotel in the US either pre or post cruise - you should enter the hotel details.

If you have a forced overnight hotel stay before joining the ship, you will need to give the address of the hotel. Please note, this will only be available approximately 90 days before the voyage/embarkation date."

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