(Newswire.net — April 20, 2017) — Since President Trump took office, the political climate in the United States has made some people question whether it’s safe to travel to the United States from overseas. If you have travel plans, don’t cancel them! There’s no reason to fear travel to the United States. However, if you are travelling under the Visa Waiver Program (of which the UK is a participating country) there are a few things you should keep in mind. Remember that it is your responsibility to know the requirements for entry to other countries, including those to which you may have traveled before, as requirements can change under new governments and new political climates, etc.
If you are travelling under the Visa Waiver Program, you can travel to the United States without a visa, using only your valid scan-enabled passport. What you may not know is that you are also required to obtain travel authorization under the ESTA system. The Department of Homeland Security requires that all travelers under the VWP must get ESTA approval as well, in an effort to add an additional level of security when allowing travelers into the United States. Anyone who is a citizen or a national of a VWP country and who is planning to visit a U.S. territory temporarily for work or pleasure (for a duration no longer than 90 days) with be required to get authorization under the ESTA program.
Even if you receive authorization under the ESTA system, you are not automatically qualified to enter the United States. For example, if you’ve been arrested or have bee diagnosed with a communicable disease, the border security personnel can still deny you entry. Similarly, if you are attempting to transport any prohibited products across the border, you can be denied entry, even if all of your paperwork is in order. Finally, another reason you may be denied entry into the U.S. if the customs agents are not satisfied that you intend to leave before your 90-day time limit has elapsed.
If you aren’t familiar with the US ESTA program or require more information, websites such as http://www.us-visa-esta.com/request.php can help with information as well as guiding you through the application process.
Any time there is political upheaval in a country, whether it’s a new president with new ideas, war, or any other type of political unrest, travel to that country can sometimes be more challenging than it was in the past. The important thing to remember is that it is your responsibility to know the risks and the requirements for travel anywhere in the world, whether across the country or around the globe. It is not acceptable to simply throw up one’s hands and say “I didn’t know!” If you are going to travel across international borders, whether by air, sea, or land, it’s imperative that you know in advance the requirements and restrictions at the time you plan to travel.