Foreign travel advice

USA

Summary

A powerful winter storm is currently affecting several states along the east coast of the USA. Wintry conditions including snow, sleet and freezing rain are also affecting Texas and Louisiana. Hazardous weather conditions have led to power outages and travel disruption in some areas, including delays and cancellations to flights. If you’re in the area or due to travel, you should monitor local media, follow the advice of the local authorities and check with your airline or transport provider before travelling to your point of departure. You can check forecasts and weather warnings for the area you’re in on the website of the US National Weather Service.

The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that it is to begin implementing separate enhanced security screening procedures for all commercial flights to the US.

If you need more information about how this may affect your particular flight, contact your airline or travel company.

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. Restrictions apply depending on the type of passport you hold, your nationality, criminal history, and countries you may have recently visited. Visa and other entry conditions can change at short notice. It’s your responsibility to know and understand the rules of entry before you travel. See Entry Requirements

On 24 September 2017, the US announced new immigration measures for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as some Venezuelan government officials and their families. For the latest information check the websites of the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. If you’re travelling on a British passport with the correct travel documents, you aren’t affected by these measures.

However, you must apply for a visa to enter the US if you’ve travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011 (with some exceptions) or are also a national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. See Entry Requirements

Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the United States every year. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the USA. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should monitor media reports and remain vigilant at all times. See Terrorism

UK health authorities have classified the United States as having a risk of Zika virus transmission in Florida, Texas (Cameron County and Hidalgo County only), Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. See Health

You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime. See Safety and Security

The Atlantic hurricane season normally runs from June to November and can affect US coastal regions. See Natural disasters

Snow storms during winter can cause delays and cancellations throughout airports in the USA. See Natural disasters

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.