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crossing the us. border

crossing the us. border

Old Feb 25th 2014, 3:30 pm
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Default crossing the us. border

Hi
We have visitors coming from the U/K and I was wondering what paperwork will they need if we cross the border and can these be obtained in advance.They both are British citizens with U/K passports.Hope you can help.We would be travelling by car.//
Thank You Ronnie.
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Old Feb 25th 2014, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

They just need to enter on the VWP and pay the $6 fee. No need for ESTA if arriving at a land border.

Helps if they can show their intent to leave Canada, i.e. non-immigrant intent, such as their return tickets. Might come up if the inspector gets suspicious for any reason.

If there's no ESTA I think they still have to physically complete an I-94W form, so remember to surrender it when leaving the US to the Canadian inspector (as it says on the form).
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Old Feb 25th 2014, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

They'd need (as would you, if you're travelling on UK passports) the I-94W visa waiver form. This can only be obtained at the border, in the secondary inspection office. You will be directed there by the CBP agent at the customs post. Be prepared for a long-ish wait (bring a book!) and to have either US cash or a credit card to pay US$6.00 each to get the card stuck in your passport.

It's probably not worth trying to do this in advance unless you have a very specific time you need to be somewhere in the US, in which case you could make a trip to the border just to get the visa waiver sorted out. They're valid for (in most circumstances) multiple visits in a 90-day period.

Note that if you have a valid ESTA (which either you or your guests might have depending on whether you've recently travelled to the US by air) the agents can pull the requisite information from their computer system; if you don't, you'll have to fill in a green form by hand.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 2:24 am
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by Oakvillian View Post
They'd need (as would you, if you're travelling on UK passports) the I-94W visa waiver form. This can only be obtained at the border, in the secondary inspection office. You will be directed there by the CBP agent at the customs post. Be prepared for a long-ish wait (bring a book!) and to have either US cash or a credit card to pay US$6.00 each to get the card stuck in your passport.

It's probably not worth trying to do this in advance unless you have a very specific time you need to be somewhere in the US, in which case you could make a trip to the border just to get the visa waiver sorted out. They're valid for (in most circumstances) multiple visits in a 90-day period.

Note that if you have a valid ESTA (which either you or your guests might have depending on whether you've recently travelled to the US by air) the agents can pull the requisite information from their computer system; if you don't, you'll have to fill in a green form by hand.
So if they didn't want to wait in the secondary inspection area couldn't they get an ESTA instead and be waved through since the CBP officer can just pull it up on the computer? Or did I interpret that wrong? In some cases may be worth the extra US$8/person
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 3:23 am
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by gozitanguygoinghome99xx View Post
So if they didn't want to wait in the secondary inspection area couldn't they get an ESTA instead and be waved through since the CBP officer can just pull it up on the computer? Or did I interpret that wrong? In some cases may be worth the extra US$8/person
The ESTA has to have been used with the last 90 days - - Ie you need to have flown into the states , this activates the 90 day period again and is usally marked in your passport .


The Esta last 5 years (I think), once activated by flying into the states you have 90 days travel over the border on land without needing a new form . Once the 90 days are up, if you go by land you have to go to Secondary to get the form and pay the money
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 4:09 am
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by The4BellsLondon View Post
The ESTA has to have been used with the last 90 days - - Ie you need to have flown into the states , this activates the 90 day period again and is usally marked in your passport .


The Esta last 5 years (I think), once activated by flying into the states you have 90 days travel over the border on land without needing a new form . Once the 90 days are up, if you go by land you have to go to Secondary to get the form and pay the money
Ahh ok so even if you have an ESTA that you havent used yet and you go by land to the US you would need to pay the $6 at secondary becausr you didnt fly in to the US and use your ESTA... Gotcha
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 4:32 am
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by gozitanguygoinghome99xx View Post
Ahh ok so even if you have an ESTA that you havent used yet and you go by land to the US you would need to pay the $6 at secondary becausr you didnt fly in to the US and use your ESTA... Gotcha
yup
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by The4BellsLondon View Post
The ESTA has to have been used with the last 90 days - - Ie you need to have flown into the states , this activates the 90 day period again and is usally marked in your passport
I don't think that was what Oakvillian was getting at; if you have ESTA the ESTA details are in the entry system and they simply ask for the address you're going to, type it in and stamp your passport, the I-94 is electronic. If you have no ESTA, you have to fill in your details on a paper I-94, not sure if they then stamp that and give it back to you or type the whole lot in.

But either way, you have to go to secondary to go through OBIM (fingerprints/photo).

Given how long they keep you waiting typically, there's not much advantage to getting ESTA.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
I don't think that was what Oakvillian was getting at; if you have ESTA the ESTA details are in the entry system and they simply ask for the address you're going to, type it in and stamp your passport, the I-94 is electronic.
In theory. I haven't seen it happen in, I dunno, maybe three dozen tries.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
I don't think that was what Oakvillian was getting at; if you have ESTA the ESTA details are in the entry system and they simply ask for the address you're going to, type it in and stamp your passport, the I-94 is electronic. If you have no ESTA, you have to fill in your details on a paper I-94, not sure if they then stamp that and give it back to you or type the whole lot in.

But either way, you have to go to secondary to go through OBIM (fingerprints/photo).

Given how long they keep you waiting typically, there's not much advantage to getting ESTA.
I wasn't referring to Oak, I was trying to make it a little clearer for Gozit.

If you have an Esta they only have to check your fingerprints in 2ndary .
No Esta you have to fill the form in again.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
In theory. I haven't seen it happen in, I dunno, maybe three dozen tries.
Aren't you a Canadian citizen by now?
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
Aren't you a Canadian citizen by now?
Yes, but I often travel with someone who's on a British passport and has a valid ESTA.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
In theory. I haven't seen it happen in, I dunno, maybe three dozen tries.
I have - although the I94W is not entirely electronic, there's still a card to staple into your passport. I crossed by car a handful of months ago. I have a valid ESTA, OH and #1 child did not. We all had to go into secondary for fingers & photos, but whereas the other two filled out the old green form, my I94W was printed direct from the ESTA record on the computer system. I didn't fill out additional paperwork.

It must have shaved, oh, a good 20 seconds off the wait time.
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Nexus speeds it up too
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Old Feb 27th 2014, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: crossing the us. border

Originally Posted by The4BellsLondon View Post
Nexus speeds it up too
So what happens when everybody gets NEXUS cards do the lines get any shorter if crossing at Douglas or Pac Highway
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