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ESTA renewal during Covid ban

ESTA renewal during Covid ban

Old Dec 23, 20, 3:13 am
  #1  
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ESTA renewal during Covid ban

Is it possible to get a new ESTA while the ban on UK travellers to the US is still active? According to some of the private companies out there, it is. However the US Govt site is a little ambiguous, stating that, "ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to this Proclamation."

Anyone have any real life experience in doing this in the past few months? I MAY have to transit through the US in a month's time and want to be prepared in case it happens.
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Old Dec 23, 20, 3:22 am
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The text you quote relates to cancelled estas. Have you had one cancelled?

in terms of applying for a new one you can do so. You would not be able to enter or transit the US using it if you had been to any of the countries covered by the presidential proclamation within the last 14 days.
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Old Dec 23, 20, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
The text you quote relates to cancelled estas. Have you had one cancelled?

in terms of applying for a new one you can do so. You would not be able to enter or transit the US using it if you had been to any of the countries covered by the presidential proclamation within the last 14 days.
No, mine ran out in October and I didn't see any point in renewing it as travelling there is just not on the cards at the moment, although I was there in Sept for work using my work-visa.

My possible trip in Jan is a work-related one and it may be easier to go via the US given the way various other options are drying up with flights being banned. I would have thought the current restrictions on UK pax would be ok if only in transit, but what you says appears to put a stop to that idea.
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Old Dec 23, 20, 3:34 am
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
No, mine ran out in October and I didn't see any point in renewing it as travelling there is just not on the cards at the moment, although I was there in Sept for work using my work-visa.

My possible trip in Jan is a work-related one and it may be easier to go via the US given the way various other options are drying up with flights being banned. I would have thought the current restrictions on UK pax would be ok if only in transit, but what you says appears to put a stop to that idea.
there isnít any concept of airside transit in the US. You must go through immigration at your first entry point so you must have a right to enter even if transiting. Since March you have not been able to enter/transit the US on an ESTA if you had arrived or been in the UK within the last 14 days.
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Old Dec 23, 20, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
Is it possible to get a new ESTA while the ban on UK travellers to the US is still active? According to some of the private companies out there, it is. However the US Govt site is a little ambiguous, stating that, "ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to this Proclamation."

Anyone have any real life experience in doing this in the past few months? I MAY have to transit through the US in a month's time and want to be prepared in case it happens.
Consider transiting in Mexico, they don't have dry/airside transit BUT pretty much open to anyone, with direct flight connections to most south american capitals and surprisingly, still connected to Seoul and Tokyo directly thru the pandemic if asia is where you're heading next month. A bit confused when you say flights drying up though, there are still infinity options to get from Europe to pretty much any continent while avoiding the US.

You'd most likely be refused entry to the US at the moment, regardless of whether your ESTA is current or not so its a moot point IMO.
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Old Dec 23, 20, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
Is it possible to get a new ESTA while the ban on UK travellers to the US is still active? According to some of the private companies out there, it is. However the US Govt site is a little ambiguous, stating that, "ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to this Proclamation."

Anyone have any real life experience in doing this in the past few months?
Yes. Mine ran out a few months ago. I got a new one online last week on the cbp.dhs website, pretty much as per usual.
Its unlikely I'll use it while the Proclamation remains in place.
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Old Dec 24, 20, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
Its unlikely I'll use it while the Proclamation remains in place.
Out of curiosity, is there any reason to get one now if you are not going to use it in the immediate future rather than wait until when it seems likely that you might need one?
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Old Dec 24, 20, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by PointsPanda View Post
.... A bit confused when you say flights drying up though, there are still infinity options to get from Europe to pretty much any continent while avoiding the US.

You'd most likely be refused entry to the US at the moment, regardless of whether your ESTA is current or not so its a moot point IMO.
Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Out of curiosity, is there any reason to get one now if you are not going to use it in the immediate future rather than wait until when it seems likely that you might need one?
I was looking at alternatives as I am heading to Australia next month on a travel exemption, however the refueling/transit options are drying up with SIN and HKG not allowing UK travellers to even land! ME is still looking good but I was considering the US as an alternate way to get there, given they haven't banned aircraft from the UK, and don't look like doing so. However you are correct about not being able to transit there without officially entering the country, which is of course a no-go right now. Why on earth the Americans cannot get a grip on transit is beyond me.
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Old Dec 24, 20, 6:57 pm
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I believe airports in the US had sterile transit pre 9/11, but its been 20+ years that option has been gone. It's not that they "couldn't get a grip" it's that they found airside intl transit to be insecure so they intentionally took it away. Mexico and Canada used to have airside transit too, they also took it away a few years after the US in the mid 2000s I believe. In the Americas: Panama, Colombia, and Peru allow sterile transit provided the airport has the facilities. Maybe i'm missing a few others, but most don't.

To get from UK to Australia your best bet is probably to transit with one of the big 3 middle eastern carriers, not sure what the deal is though about the new virus strain, good luck
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Old Dec 25, 20, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by PointsPanda View Post
I believe airports in the US had sterile transit pre 9/11
Did they? I don't recall there being sterile transit facilities in the US even before 9/11 (except perhaps for MIA?).
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Old Dec 25, 20, 9:52 am
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ESTA renewals seem to be working out fine for the people I know to have applied in recent months. And they are needed by US VWP passport users if flying from say Mexico to the US to Europe.

Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Did they? I don't recall there being sterile transit facilities in the US even before 9/11 (except perhaps for MIA?).
Most US airports of entry definitely did not have such a thing pre-9/11. It was perhaps one or two US airports -- Florida and/or Texas come to mind when making this comment -- that may have had a brief period where there was a limited international-to-international transit facility service that would allow some travelers to transit the US without a visa despite those travelers otherwise being ordinarily required to have a visa to enter the US when transiting the US.
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Old Dec 25, 20, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by PAL62V View Post
Why on earth the Americans cannot get a grip on transit is beyond me.
Although someone may disagree, it is a more efficient way.
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Old Dec 25, 20, 11:45 pm
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In 1992 and 2000 I transited the US at LAX and SFO and we were required to go through immigration.

In 2002 I transited the US on the CX flights HKG-ANC-YYZ and back and at that time the US did not require passengers on those flights to leave the aircraft and reboard.

The majority of flights from US "international" airports are domestic and the US does not have exit immigration controls, so the airside areas of US airports are all "inside the US". For international transit to be enabled some areas would need to be designated "outside the US" and this would only be possible by instituting exit controls or reconfiguring airports in a very complex way.

In the UK the airports LHR LGW and MAN achieve domestic and international mingling by making domestic passengers (who are in the minority) have biometric scans.
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Old Dec 28, 20, 3:35 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Although someone may disagree, it is a more efficient way.
How is it more efficient to process people through immigration protocols who are then going to immediately leave the country?

I guess if you net it off against the lack of exit controls, the USA does less "processing" overall.

But that is only true while the level of international transit passengers is low enough.

And is it low because that's the natural level? Or is it low because the USA is an annoying place to do international transit? Chicken? Egg?
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Old Dec 28, 20, 3:38 am
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Originally Posted by PointsPanda View Post
Mexico and Canada used to have airside transit too, they also took it away a few years after the US in the mid 2000s I believe.
Canada still has airside transit, at least in YVR.

It even has pre-departure USA immigration so can arrive at a US airport as a domestic passenger and just walk out of the airport.
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