U.S.A Holiday - Help

  shwinglow 20:22 14 Jun 2008

Can anyone out there help me, I am going to the USA later this year (South Carolina)DO I NEED A VISA - its a 2 week holiday - Iv'e got a full 10y passport - some people say I do, others say I don't - and i can't understand what the american embassy website is saying - i just need someone to give me clear advise - DO I or DON'T I

Many thanks Trev

  ulrich 20:29 14 Jun 2008

How much a visa costs but if you must go why not get one?

  DieSse 20:33 14 Jun 2008

I went to Florida last year without a visa, quite happily.

But your airline, or tour operator, or travel agent, can confirm this - that's one of the things they're there for.

  DieSse 20:36 14 Jun 2008

Read this click here for a holiday of 90 days or less, a UK citizen does not require a visa.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:39 14 Jun 2008



I fly in and out of the states 5 or 6 times year never needed one yet.

  DieSse 20:40 14 Jun 2008

I've also read this, and it seems pretty clear to me! click here

  octal 20:59 14 Jun 2008

You can enter the USA under the Visa Waver scheme click here , but you will need a Visa if you have been arrested, even though there might have been no criminal charges brought against you.

"If you were arrested and/or convicted of an offense, you are required to obtain a court record from the court(s) in which you were tried. Such court records must show the nature of the offense(s) committed, the section(s) of law contravened and the actual penalty imposed. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, you may submit with your application the documents relating to the arrest. If you are no longer in possession of these documents, you may submit a sworn statement which gives reason and location of the arrest, state and county. Applicants are also required to obtain a police certificate from the ACPO issued within 6 months of the visa interview."

click here

I was arrested but not charged because I hadn't committed any offence, but I still have to go to the American embassy to obtain a Visa, much to my annoyance.

  ulrich 21:03 14 Jun 2008

I would rather spend two weeks in Somerset in my tent and go to a local pub for decent food and beer.

  Forum Editor 00:45 15 Jun 2008

you have a previous criminal conviction of any kind - then you'll need one.

If I could offer a tip - buy new suitcases. American airport security dictates that all suitcases are liable to be opened for examination - not necessarily when you're present - and the major case manufacturers have all started making cases with built-in locks that have airport access facilities - the airports have keys supplied by the manufacturers, and can open any suitcase that's locked.

They also have master keys to a list of what they call 'approved locks', and you can secure your case with one of these locks if you wish.

If you try to use your own lock, or have a case with a old-style built in lock you may find yourself inconvenienced, and I recommend that you don't lock these cases. If you do, you could find the lock broken when you collect the case at the american end.

  lotvic 01:19 15 Jun 2008

Yes, you need a visa if your passport is not machine readable click here

"All British passport holders will only be permitted to enter the United States if they hold a machine readable passport. The majority of 'new style' red British passports are machine readable, although those issued outside the UK or those not in the new style may not be. Should your passport not be machine readable it will be necessary to either obtain a new passport or to obtain a US visa."

"Q. Are all the 'new style' passports machine readable?
A. No. Although most of the 'new style' British passports issued in the UK since 1988 will be machine readable, those issued outside the UK may not be"

"Q. How do I know if I have a machine readable passport?
A. "There is a machine readable strip at the bottom of the data page. This means that the passport details can be read by a machine at Passport Control. If you are in doubt as to whether your passport is machine readable, you should contact the British Passport Office (for details see overleaf) if a British passport holder, or your embassy in the United Kingdom for further information if you are not."

  octal 07:37 15 Jun 2008

Just to clarify, it's not just a criminal conviction, it includes just being arrested as well.

This is from DieSse's link:

"Some travelers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the VWP. These include people who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction"

That's the reason why I've got to get a Visa, I was arrested but no criminal conviction resulted. If you are in any doubt about whether you are legible to use the Visa Waiver Programme then the advice I received is to apply for a Visa. If they find out that you have been arrested they will turn you away when you get to immigration and put on the first plane home.

The locks are called TSA Locks click here have a look in your local supermarket they often sell them in their travel section.

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