Foreign travel advice

USA

Summary

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

There is a general threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Snow storms during winter can cause delays and cancellations throughout the major airline hubs in the USA. Contact your travel company or airline before you travel. You should monitor weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. See Natural disasters

The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days without a visa, but you may need to get authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) before you travel. If you don’t qualify for the VWP, you’ll need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

From 21 January 2016 most people who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria since March 2011, or are dual nationals of these countries, will no longer qualify for entry under the VWP and existing ESTAs could be cancelled. You’ll instead need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If in doubt contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Also, from 1 April 2016, all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport). See Entry requirements

Cases of Zika virus have been reported in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in 2015 and 2016. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Seek advice from a health professional if you have any further questions or concerns.

All travellers arriving from Ebola affected areas in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) must arrive at one of 5 major airports in order to undergo health screening. See Air Travel

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

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.