Are there any North American visa experts here?

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Are there any North American visa experts here?

#1  Postby jamest » Jan 12, 2018 12:18 am

I've recently mentioned that my family are visiting North America this year, but our holiday starts in Toronto Canada and ends in Orlando USA, where we eventually fly back to the UK.

This means that we need an eTa to enter Canada by air. No problem, thus far. The concern I have is with the visa requirements I need to fulfil to then enter the USA via a land border as we are entering the USA by train on our way to New York, prior to eventually leaving the USA by plane in Orlando.

I mean, the visa waiver program (VWP) in the USA means that citizens entering the USA from [various places such as] the UK must apply for an 'ESTA' [Electronic System for Travel Authorization]. However, as far as I can tell, this is only for people entering the USA via air or sea [only]. Is that correct?

Secondly, from my online research it seems that when I cross the border on the train from Canada to the USA we will have to be processed via form I-94W.

So what I'm basically asking, is whether I need to purchase an 'esta' for each member of my family for the USA, or whether the I-94W land-border processing will suffice to get us into AND out of the USA? The official websites I've visited are very generic and so it's hard to ascertain a definitive answer specific to our circumstances.

Many thanks for any replies which serve to de-stress me. My apologies also for my naivety as I'm not very-well travelled and certainly have not been to America before.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#2  Postby Macdoc » Jan 12, 2018 1:29 am

Stay in Canada....we need your tourist dollars. :D

I thought your agent was handling all this.

US Border is erratic at best ....

Show passports, show return tickets, be polite. We're on holiday.

This looks up to date
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advic ... quirements

I think from looking at it ...making sure you have an E-Passport from the UK is critical.

then this

http://www.esta.us/united_kingdom.html

I suspect you don't need it ....but it's a quick application so they say.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#3  Postby jamest » Jan 12, 2018 1:59 am

Macdoc wrote:Stay in Canada....we need your tourist dollars. :D

I would gladly spend a month in Canada, Sir, for whatever that's worth.

I thought your agent was handling all this.

I posed this question to my agent a few weeks ago and his answer was, essentially, "We are not qualified to answer your question. You need to ask the relevant authorities.". I guess that's a bog-standard response to clear them of responsibility and potential undermining consequences, but I must admit it did piss me off.

US Border is erratic at best ....

Show passports, show return tickets, be polite. We're on holiday.

I don't think I want to rely on my blowjob abilities, to be honest. The potential here is to have the door closed upon us for a month's 'holiday of a lifetime' after just a few days in Toronto. I need to get this sorted, soon.

I've visited both of those links you've provided already, thanks. They're just too generic.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#4  Postby Macdoc » Jan 12, 2018 2:02 am

Why? - just do the application. Partner applies all the time...no big deal.


Combined Canadian/USA holiday visa concerns
yesterday, 14:37
Hello. My family of 4 UK citizens fly to Toronto Canada in July and I will obtain an eTa for each of us.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g1 ... tario.html


https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g1 ... umbia.html

If you do fly to Canada, you will need to apply for an eTA, not an ESTA. Official eTA website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp .

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g1 ... tario.html

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visa ... R&result=2
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#5  Postby jamest » Jan 12, 2018 2:23 am

Macdoc wrote:Why? - just do the application. Partner applies all the time...no big deal.

I don't understand your response?

You're surely aware that visa applications cost money? For instance, it will cost us $62 to acquire estas and I'm 95 percent certain we don't need them, from what I've read. The 5% uncertainty is giving me a headache though, hence this thread. I'm not rich either but although $62 is not significant I cannot stomach wasting money on nothing and this holiday is threatening to cost me/us approx £20,000 in total. I'm not rich squire. I've just acquired one-off funds enabling this one-off opportunity. I could have put it in the bank and left it in my will to whomever, I know, but I thought "fuck it" and am thus heading in your direction for a month this summer. If you're short of a robe, gimme a yell. ;)
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#6  Postby Macdoc » Jan 12, 2018 2:52 am

$34,000 cdn for a trip for four to the US for four weeks???!!!!

That appears absolutely outrageous. Flights should be no more than $4,000 for that tho $2500 - 2800is more what I'm seeing....what the hell are you spending the other $30k on ???
Car rental maybe $2000 at the most but I think that's high $25 a day should do it ...$7-800 for the period.

I supposed two rooms are needed each night. say $6k

Where's the rest??

This UK family did the trip to the west coast

Total each: €2989

All in all not bad, if you ask me, if you keep in mind we traveled for a month through one of the more expensive countries in the world. For three weeks we stayed in hotels, went out for food three times a day and did all the activities that were on our wish list. What a great and wonderful trip we had. You have to save up, but I can’t recommend this trip enough to every one. Definitely a once in a lifetime trip. (Also, don’t forget to check out the 7 things you should know about driving in the US!)


https://explorista.net/budget-how-much- ... trip-cost/

That's nowhere near your cost estimate.....you traveling princess class?
•••••

Yes I'm aware of VISA fees .....my fee to APPLY for Aus landed immigrant is $11,000 and no guarantee and no refund.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#7  Postby jamest » Jan 12, 2018 3:17 am

Macdoc wrote:$34,000 cdn for a trip for four to the US for four weeks???!!!!

That appears absolutely outrageous. Flights should be no more than $4,000 for that tho $2500 - 2800is more what I'm seeing....what the hell are you spending the other $30k on ???
Car rental maybe $2000 at the most but I think that's high $25 a day should do it ...$7-800 for the period.

I supposed two rooms are needed each night. say $6k

Where's the rest??

This UK family did the trip to the west coast

Total each: €2989

All in all not bad, if you ask me, if you keep in mind we traveled for a month through one of the more expensive countries in the world. For three weeks we stayed in hotels, went out for food three times a day and did all the activities that were on our wish list. What a great and wonderful trip we had. You have to save up, but I can’t recommend this trip enough to every one. Definitely a once in a lifetime trip. (Also, don’t forget to check out the 7 things you should know about driving in the US!)


https://explorista.net/budget-how-much- ... trip-cost/

That's nowhere near your cost estimate.....you traveling princess class?
•••••

Yes I'm aware of VISA fees .....my fee to APPLY for Aus landed immigrant is $11,000 and no guarantee and no refund.

I'm about to go to bed so I'm not giving this much thought, but the envisaged cost of the holiday for a whole month (not 4 weeks) includes:

1. Taxi fares to and from London airports.
2. Airfares for 4 to Toronto, returning from Orlando, using BA, in peak season.
3. 30 days accommodation for 4.
4. Food/drink for 4 people for 31 days.
5. Orlando/Disney entrance fees + Space Centre Florida for 10 days.
6. Car hire for about 20 days.
7. Train fares for 4 to Ny from Toronto and then NY to Phili.
8. Anticipated extra car fees, including 'gas' and parking.
9. Entrance fees to other attractions beyond Florida.
10. Utility fees related to things like laundry, internet/phone.
11. One or two beers. :shifty:
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#8  Postby Macdoc » Jan 12, 2018 7:26 am

add 10% to this for the extra 3 days an in sterling that's about £3k per with the added time.

Total each: €2989


Flying in one Airport and out another is an expensive approach. Something we rarely ever do.
For instance if I did Toronto, Copenhagen London Toronto - would be far more than

Toronto, Copenhagen London Copenhagen Toronto ( $1100 all in ) £650 sterling

Train is expensive in the US and something we rarely consider except as a luxury ( NY Washington excepted ) since driving is so much less for 2 let alone 4.

I get Standard £461 Toronto return for your approx dates on BA...and flights from Toronto to Orlando return are peanuts. £180
What are you paying round trip?
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#9  Postby laklak » Jan 12, 2018 4:03 pm

Have you called the U.S. embassy, james? This must be a fairly common situation. I looked online here

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html and found the following

An approved ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) allows a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program participating country to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. An approved ESTA does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will place an admission stamp in your passport. Learn more on the CBP website.


A land border is a port of entry, so I can't see any problems. You could also try contacting USCIS, I found them quite helpful in the past.

ETA as far as I can tell, eveyone needs an ESTA.

Here's the number for USCIS +1 800-375-5283. If they can't help you they can point you in the right direction.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#10  Postby Macdoc » Jan 12, 2018 6:49 pm

Keep an eye out for a family of four with funny accents in a gold plated limo ;) ...geez $30k for a month ??!!!
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#11  Postby felltoearth » Jan 12, 2018 7:00 pm

Macdoc wrote:Keep an eye out for a family of four with funny accents in a gold plated limo ;) ...geez $30k for a month ??!!!

For 15K I'll drive them myself in an RV.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#12  Postby laklak » Jan 12, 2018 7:11 pm

For 12.5K I'll come get them in the boat. Have to hitchhike to Disney from the marina, though.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#13  Postby jamest » Jan 13, 2018 12:06 am

laklak wrote:Have you called the U.S. embassy, james? This must be a fairly common situation.

The US embassy takes calls from muppets like me? And the caller knows all of the answers to everyone's unique problems?

No, I haven't, though I did already visit their website. Along with gov.co.uk and even the US customs and border protection website. Understandably, their info is generic and they don't cater to every perceivable circumstance from every national citizen. I was surprised though that I couldn't find info relating to UK citizens who go to Canada first and then fly out of the USA having crossed the border by land. I'm guessing that this is quite a common phenomenon.

I have though just very recently acquired good advice from the tripadvisor forum people, who assure me that estas are for those entering the USA by air or sea ONLY, so I don't need one. The I-94W thingy is what anyone like me has to do if they enter the USA via land borders and having estas would not suffice as they are specific to airports and sea ports. The I-94W also suffices to document me leaving the USA at the airport [in Orlando].

So, if you see some fuckin' nutjob from the UK on the news in late July shoving a frozen badger up a custom officer's lower orifice...
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#14  Postby jamest » Jan 13, 2018 12:31 am

Also, you guys must be living in some other universe to me. I mean, budgeting £20,000 for a month for four in the USA including taxis to & from airports/flights (at peak time)/trains/Metro & bus fares/car (for about 3 weeks)/gas-petrol/parking/accommodation/food & drink/entrance to disney and other places which charge for entertainment/visas/laundry/other sundries, does not come cheap.

The total cost of my holiday before I even get there is approx £15000. That includes all (even Disney, Space Centre & Niagara Falls day out) except my budget for food and gas-petrol/parking/two trains/public transport/and other entertainment. I'm allowing myself about £5000 for that.

It's a holiday of a lifetime, so I didn't want to go over there for a week nor sleep in hostels/tents, nor just go walking in the woods every day. The furthest my daughter has been before is The lake District in northern England, for a week. I wanted to give her, not least her half-sister and my missus, something to remember before it's too late. It won't be happening again, for sure. Not with the kids, anyway. Not unless I win the lottery.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#15  Postby jamest » Jan 13, 2018 12:36 am

I'm going to be asking you guys for other advice about this holiday within the next few months, assuming my arse hasn't been kicked out of the door. I feel like I'm going to the moon, if you get my drift. I'm clueless.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#16  Postby kiore » Jan 13, 2018 1:22 am

Get the ESTA, is online, you need your ticket details first, you may even just use a machine at border if you have an ESTA no need to talk to anyone (these are at airports unsure if at land borders) . Of course the Embassy will answer your queries, that is one of their roles, my advice is just ask them how to do this correctly, but don't ask for any guarantees, just the correct process.
Only likely issue is if you have stamps in passports from 'certain' countries or are flagged for something or other.
Do not try and enter the USA without visas sorted out first, border authorities are not friendly and welcoming and have no sense of humour, this is true in most countries.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#17  Postby laklak » Jan 13, 2018 1:55 am

The embassy will talk to you, or you can call USCIS directly.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#18  Postby jamest » Jan 13, 2018 2:30 am

kiore wrote:Get the ESTA, is online, you need your ticket details first, you may even just use a machine at border if you have an ESTA no need to talk to anyone (these are at airports unsure if at land borders) .

Thanks for your input, but I'm now 100% sure that estas are ONLY relevant for US entry via air & sea ports. They are meaningless to US customs officers at land borders. I mean, estas ARE specific to US entry via air/sea. Full stop emphasis. I've gleaned this from tripadvisor forum members.


Of course the Embassy will answer your queries, that is one of their roles, my advice is just ask them how to do this correctly, but don't ask for any guarantees, just the correct process.

I cannot imagine how many enquiries the US embassy in London gets on a day-to-day basis, but it cannot have much time for an everyday muppet like me.

I also heard on the news today that the US embassy is in the process of moving locations, which is the excuse Trump used for not coming here this year. Wanker. Regardless, I cannot imagine a more busy 'embassy' in the whole world right now, so wouldn't even bother them with my own lightweight worries.

Only likely issue is if you have stamps in passports from 'certain' countries or are flagged for something or other.

You've given me new cause for concern, for I personally have been to Israel, Egypt & Tunisia. Hmm.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#19  Postby Macdoc » Jan 13, 2018 5:13 am

The total cost of my holiday before I even get there is approx £15000.


Also, you guys must be living in some other universe to me. I mean, budgeting £20,000 for a month for four in the USA including taxis to & from airports/flights (at peak time)/trains/Metro & bus fares/car (for about 3 weeks)/gas-petrol/parking/accommodation/food & drink/entrance to disney and other places which charge for entertainment/visas/laundry/other sundries, does not come cheap.


actually it does in the US

Jamest ... we live here ....many of us travel the world and extensively in the US ...we wonder just what your agent is charging you? In particular the flight choice.

The US is one of the cheapest places to travel in and to with some exceptions.

Are you at least doing Washington?

BTW ...why are you even questioning getting ETSA it's so cheap.
An accepted ESTA application costs $14 (about £9) per person, and must be paid for by credit card. If your application is rejected, it only costs $4.
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Re: Are there any North American visa experts here?

#20  Postby laklak » Jan 13, 2018 3:30 pm

If it were me I'd go ahead and get the ESTA for everybody. You might not need it, but then again you might.
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