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EmilysDad

Flight via USA

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Hi,

have valid visitor visa for entry in to AUS. Usually travel via East/ Singapore/Dubai etc.

This time flights are via USA. No intention or plans to leave the airport.. 

Do I need a visa ? ESTA?? Neither???

many thanks 

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Afraid so.  Transiting through the US is painful, you need to go through immigration regardless of final destination so you need some kind of visa or visa waiver in place: certainly when going through LA you need to get your bags, go through immigration and check bags in again (at least you did in early 2020 when I had to do it).  Qantas has a guide to what to do on their website; your carrier might have as well as I can't speak for whether bags are checked through in Newark or anything on that side of the country.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/other-visa-categories/transit.html

This page talks about transiting through and what visa you need

 


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Yes if holding UK passport

As well as holidaymakers and businessmen, regardless of the project, travelers who need to make a stopover in the USA are obliged to submit an application for ESTA transit authorization 

Taken from the ESTA info site

 

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Thanks so much for the replies, can I clarify it’s an ESTA needed. Not a visa..? 

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As long as you are eligible for an ESTA then you can use that instead of a visa.  However, if your ESTA application is denied then you will have to get a visa which requires an in-person interview.

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Thank you so much, I eventually found the Qantas site which is much clearer than the British one. As UK (and Aus) are included in the visa waive scheme an ESTA is needed, costs $21us and has to be applied at least 72 hours before departure 🤗

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To complete…

Esta approved and valid until Oct 2024

application and process quite straightforward even for a tech phobic like me.. aside from ID details it’s mainly a series of yes/no questions to answer, pay your money and then wait…

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