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USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

Bradford, United...
posts: 32
reviews: 59
USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

I am looking at air New Zealand from London to Auckland and it goes via LA.

I am a bit confused but do we need a visa for our transit through LA or San Francisco?

I am British and my wife is Estonian.

Any advice is appreciated

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,940
reviews: 77
1. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

Both the UK and Estonia perticipate in the visa waiver program, so no visas needed. It will be just the ESTA and a few formes when you transfer through.

You will be clearing immigration and customs (and all us import rules will apply) in either LAX or SFO given that is your first touch down in the US.

Edited: 4:20 pm, December 19, 2012
Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,335
reviews: 14
2. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

As GeoMedic said - you'll need an ESTA even if you're just in transit.

Make sure you get it through the official site, it costs $14 and is valid for 2 yrs or until your passport expires, whichever is earlier.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html…

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
3. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

http://www.airnewzealand.eu/transiting-via-la

Philadelphia...
posts: 4
reviews: 3
4. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

To get ESTA clearance go to US Goverment website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov . The cost to get the authorization is $14. (Some websites charge way more essentially for passing your info to CBP.)

Have a print out with you when you check-in, since some airlines demand to see one.

Keep a copy for two years - you can reuse the same authorization at no charge, so long as you update your flight info.

Curiously, ESTA application asks for airline name and flight number, but not the date of travel.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 55,217
reviews: 11
5. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

>>you can reuse the same authorization at no charge, so long as you update your flight info.<<

I don't think even that is necessary. I have never updated my flight information, but have had no difficulties in entering the USA.

Sydney Australia
posts: 72
reviews: 61
6. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

We are staying at Los Angeles airport (waiting for another flight) for ten hours,is this visa still suitable for us? Cheers Lilly

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
7. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

Australian passport holders usually only need an ESTA.

apply on line:

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,870
reviews: 5
8. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

>> We are staying at Los Angeles airport (waiting for another flight) for ten hours,is this visa still suitable for us? Cheers Lilly<<

Lilly,

You haven't mentioned which nationality (passports) you're traveling on, so we can't comment on "visa".

BUT, in order to transit via the USA, you need entry clearance to the US as if you were visiting the US. That means either a visa or ESTA.

IF your passports are from a country included in the Visa Waiver Program (which includes Australian passport holders) then you need the ESTA.

If that's what you're referring to then YES the ESTA will enable you to stay in Los Angeles for 10 hours for your onward flight. It will allow you to stay longer (up to 90 days) should you wish, and the ESTA is valid for two years.

Berkshire, England
posts: 4,584
reviews: 58
9. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

You do not need to update your flight/address where you are staying information on ESTAs. We have entered the USA many times on ESTAs and never updated that information. Even when you first apply for the ESTA you only have to give personal/passport details as the other info is not mandatory.

Sydney Australia
posts: 72
reviews: 61
10. Re: USA transit - Europe to New Zealand - are visas required

Sorry,we have an Australian and a UK passport