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SICOT e-Newsletter

New regulations for travellers to the United States from Visa Waiver Countries
- Effective January 2009 

Beginning in January 2009, all international travellers who are seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are now subject to enhanced security requirements.

Countries included under the Visa Waiver Program are:

Andorra France Luxembourg Singapore
Austria Germany Monaco Slovenia
Australia Iceland Netherlands Spain
Belgium Ireland New Zealand Sweden
Brunei Italy Norway Switzerland
Denmark Japan Portugal United Kingdom
Finland Liechtenstein San Marino  

Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries will still be eligible to travel without a visa but will have to obtain an approved travel authorization prior to (at least 72 hours before) their travel to the United States.

All eligible travellers who wish to travel under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization through the US Department of Homeland Security - Electronic System for Travel Authorization website:


A Traveller who fails to submit the authorization form at least 72 hours in advance of his or her departure to the US will not be allowed entry on to a plane. Authorization forms will not be allowed to be completed on site at the airport.

Other resources:
US Homeland Security Announcement
Frequently Asked Questions: Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
Information you need to complete the ESTA