Will my passport stop me from travelling to America?

What you need to know

It has recently come into the news that UK residents are being rejected entry into the USA if they do not have an e-Passport. This is true. It was introduced last month by the American government but most are still unaware.

The reason this has blown up so much, and gained so much traction, is because of one English traveller who shared their unfortunate story on Facebook. As we all know, social media is a huge platform for sharing content, and so it is no surprise that a story like this has caught so much attention and been picked up by the mainstream media.

The traveller in question was due to travel to Florida from their closest UK based airport but got turned away at the check-in desk as they did NOT have an electronic passport.


How can I tell if I have an electronic passport?


If you have had your British Citizen Passport issued before 2006 it is likely that you will NOT have an electronic passport. Passports issued after 2006 will be e-Passports but it is always worth checking. A simple way to check if you have an e-Passport is to simply look at the front cover of it:

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You should see a small camera symbol at the bottom, in the centre (as pictured above). This indicates that your passport has an electronic chip that can store electronic visas.

You can apply for a new British Citizen Passport on the official government website here: www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport. This costs £72.50, with an extra £9.75 fee for the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service.

If you need any assistance with your passport renewal, you can download our passport renewal pack (includes an additional service fee).

Download Passport Renewal Application Pack


Will I need a new ESTA for America?

If you are one of the unfortunate few who have already applied for, and been granted, a valid ESTA and have recently found out that you don’t have an electronic passport then you will have to apply again. Luckily for you, we can help!

The Travel Visa Company can assist with your new American ESTA application for business or tourist purposes. We take the stress away from your visa application by quality checking the application, completing the online forms on your behalf, emailing you the confirmation of approval and providing support and updates throughout the application process.

Apply now for just £27.50 per person: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/america/ or call: 01270 250 590

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What is the Visa Waiver Program?

If you have travelled to or from America, then you may have heard of the Visa Waiver Program. But what actually is it, and what does it do?

The Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free travel to America for up to 90 days.

Visitors must obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) prior to travel which is valid for two years from the date of issue and allows multiple entries in to the U.S. for business, leisure and transiting purposes.

This visa-free travel scheme only applies to nationals of following participating countries:

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How do I apply for an ESTA?

All British Passport holders travelling to America will require to obtain an ESTA before travel. In order to be eligible you must hold a passport with an integrated chip. You can apply online through the official American Government’s website or, if you would like further assistance with your application or have any questions, contact The Travel Visa Company on 01270 250 590.

Happy Travels!

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Everything you need to know about Thanksgiving!

What is thanksgiving about?

Each year, on the last Thursday in November, the American and Canadian community gather together in their homes to celebrate all they are thankful for.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated to give thanks for the blessing of harvest. It is also important to note that Thanksgiving is thought to be just as important as the Christmas holidays by many Americans and Canadians!

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How is it celebrated?

Macy’s, a popular american department store, organise an annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York that is attended by over 3 million people and broadcast live on national television. This a tradition that has continued for over 80 years, won numerous awards and is seen by more than 50 million fans across the world each year!

American football is always a favourite on Thanksgiving. This year the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Detroit Lions (5.30pm GMT / 12.30pm EST) followed by the Carolina Panthers vs the Dallas Cowboys (9.30pm GMT / 4.30pm EST).

And how can we forget the food! Roast turkey with stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, buttered rolls, gravy, green beans, and squash are just some of the delights you can expect to see, likely to be topped off with a cold refreshing beverage and a helping of candied yams or pumpkin pie!

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Origin

The history of Thanksgiving dates back to 1620, when a ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers on an adventure to the New World.  In November 1621, the Pilgrims successfully harvested their first crop of corn, so Governor William Bradford organised a celebratory feast. Both Europeans and Native Americans attended, and it’s now thought of as the first Thanksgiving, lasting three days. In 1846, author Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for Thanksgiving to be recognised as a national holiday. This campaign lasted 17 years and before the letter she wrote to President Lincoln was successful. In 1863 legislation was passed which established a national holiday of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November every year.

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Black Friday

Black Friday lands on the Friday following Thanksgiving. This a day where retailers reduce prices to extreme levels allowing for massive discounts in an effort to increase sales. This has been a huge hit in america for a while and is moving abroad with certain brands based in the UK taking part – kick-starting the holiday shopping season.

Black Friday is a controversial event. Chaos is caused in department stores throughout the country as bargain hunters scramble to get their most desired products before another shopper snaps them up! So it doesn’t come as a surprise that accidents are common.

However, Cyber Monday has started to become a trend in many nations. The first Monday after Thanksgiving sees prices from on-line retailers fall, this obviously being a less stressful way to shop but hurry while stocks last as it has been said that Cyber Monday is becoming more popular than Black Friday!

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America

So if you are thinking of travelling out to america this holiday season you may require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) but don’t worry, you’re in luck! We can help you with your visa/ESTA application!

To find out if you are eligible, or for any more information regarding travelling to the US visit our website:

http://thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/america/

“give thanks for a little and you will find a lot”

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