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Travellers risk detention under new US ESTA visa rules in force from today

This is the 501st post on Bangalore Aviation. My sincere thanks to all the visitors and supporters.

From today, travellers visiting the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) risk being detained at airports and sent home if they don’t comply with new U.S. immigration rules.

The new Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program has been made mandatory from today, January 12, 2009. ESTA replaces the written green I-94W form, previously used by visitors under the VWP, to enter the United States, without a visa.

ESTA requires visitors from the 34 VWP countries must now register their details online at least three days before departure.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has assured travellers that the system can handle last-minute and emergency requests.

Travellers are also advised that ESTA does not guarantee entry into the United States. The final decision rests with the immigration official at the port of entry.

For full details on ESTA, VWP countries, and related links, please read my previous article.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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