The current advice from the UK Contingent in regard to travel is provided below. Where further information is provided or the advice updated, you will receive a notification from the Contingent.
Passport and ESTAs
All participants and Adult Contingent members are responsible for holding valid passports and ESTAs for the USA. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
If you hold a passport issued from another country you must seek advice from your own national authorities on the entry requirements for your nationality.
You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport and an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme (WVP), which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days.
You’ll generally qualify to enter the USA using the VWP if your British passport
- describes your nationality as a ‘British Citizen’
- is an ePassport with this internationally recognised symbol on the front cover
- have received authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA);
- haven’t been arrested for certain crimes, even if a criminal conviction didn’t result;
- aren’t a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria;
- haven’t travelled to Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011; and
- can show that you have enough funds available on arrival to support yourself during your stay, even if you’re staying with family and friends.
Certain exemptions apply on a case-by-case basis to those who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011. For more information see the website of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency or contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.You should complete an online pre-registration form on the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) website, before you travel.
Whilst the US Customs and Border Patrol recommends that you do this at least 72 hours before departure, it is advisable to get this in place as early as possible so that all data can be checked by our Travel Agents and registered on your records. Applying for and securing an ESTA is a separate process to providing your airline with advance passenger information (details of your passport, country of residence, address of your first night’s accommodation in the US etc). For more information, and to apply online, visit the official ESTA website.
Passport validity and ESTA Validity
When you fill in your online ESTA application form, there is a tick box that asks you whether you have any other passports, aside from the one whose details you have already entered. It’s important to clarify here that, when you apply for ESTA, it is tightly linked to a specific passport. This ‘linkage’ has a couple of implications that it’s important to understand: first, if your passport expires during the standard two-year validity period of your ESTA, you will no longer be able to use that specific ESTA. This is still the case even if you renew your passport, as the details on the ESTA form correspond specifically with the passport that you had at the time of the application. Under such circumstances, you would need to apply for a new ESTA when you had your new passport – there’s no such thing as an ‘ESTA renewal’ but applying for an ESTA multiple times is perfectly fine, and previous applications don’t have any implications on subsequent ones.
UK/USA dual nationality
If you have dual UK/US nationality you will not need an ESTA. We will need to enter your US passport into your reservation details as this will be needed for the Advanced Passenger Information transmitted by the airline to the US. You’ll do this because US law says you must enter the US on your US passport. Then when you get to airport and check in you can just hand both your US and UK passports to the clerk. That way the clerk knows you don t need an ESTA. When you arrive in the US you use your US passport at immigration, as it is the law.
When you leave the US, you hand both passports to airline clerk at check in. They’ll take whichever they want, but that way they know you don t need a visa to go to the UK. Then when you land in the UK, you go through immigration with your UK passport. The new ones use the e-passport gates, so you won’ t encounter a person anyway.
If your Jamboree travel plan includes visiting Canada and you are flying in or out of a Canadian airport you will require a Canadian eTA. These can be applied for online here. These cost £3.40. It would be advisable to obtain one even if you will not be flying in or out of Canada to cover the potential case of repatriation through a Canadian airport for any eventuality.