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ESTA Visa Query

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Bradford-on-Avon...
posts: 2
reviews: 1
ESTA Visa Query

I'm visiting Whistler in Jan 2013 for a week and have heard two different stories about the ESTA payment/visa requirement. We are flying into Vancouver and traveling North to Whistler so not entering the US at all. One travel agent told me we need to apply for ESTA and another said we didn't need it as long as we aren't entering the US. Can anyone please verify for me? Thank you.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6,844
1. Re: ESTA Visa Query

Around 2015, Canada will implement its own electronic travel authorization scheme. Until then, there's no advance approval process for UK passport holders travelling to Canada on typical tourist visits. (Official link for visa requirements: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp .)

And even in 2015, you won't apply though the _US_ government's ESTA system if you're solely travelling to Canada. Kindly remind travel agent #1 that Canada is a separate country. (For an official link: cbp.gov/xp/…GeneralInformationonESTA says clearly that ESTA "assists in determining eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program" . Note no mention of Canada.)

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 53,684
reviews: 65
2. Re: ESTA Visa Query

Welcome to TripAdvisor, David;

The American ESTA program *only* applies to persons flying into the United States.

If your travels took you through the US enroute to Canada, IE London to New York City, to Vancouver, you would then need to apply for an ESTA.

Best Regards

Edited: 11:16 am, November 13, 2012
Bradford-on-Avon...
posts: 2
reviews: 1
3. Re: ESTA Visa Query

That's brilliant, very helpful. Thank you both.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 13,844
reviews: 37
4. Re: ESTA Visa Query

Yes, the key is the transit route you are taking. If you get off a plane in the US, they will process you and you will have to get your paperwork in place, even if you are just changing planes.

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 53,684
reviews: 65
5. Re: ESTA Visa Query

You're Welcome, David !

6. Re: ESTA Visa Query

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