Requirements information

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) For Travel to the U.S. 

Guests who plan to travel to the U.S. and who are eligible for the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme, are required to apply for travel authorization online prior to their travel.

The electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA) can be completed on https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Guests will require an approved ESTA prior to boarding. An approved ESTA is valid for up to two years and multiple entries but is not a guarantee of admissibility.

How the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Works

Log onto the ESTA Web site at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ and complete an on-line application. Passengers are encouraged to apply early. The web-based system will prompt you to answer basic biographical and eligibility questions typically requested on a paper I-94W form.

Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, however, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours prior to travel. In most cases you will receive a response within seconds:

  • Authorization Approved: Travel authorized.
  • Travel Not Authorized: Passenger must obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before travelling to the U.S.
  • Authorization Pending: Passenger will need to check the ESTA Web site for updates within 72 hours to receive a final response.

An approved travel authorization via ESTA is:

  • Required for all VWP Passengers prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP beginning January 12, 2009;
  • Valid, unless revoked, for up to two years or until the Passenger's passport expires, whichever comes first;
  • Valid for multiple entries into the U.S. As future trips are planned, or if an applicant's destination addresses or itineraries change after their authorization has been approved, they may easily update that information through the ESTA Web site; and
  • Not a guarantee of admissibility to the United States at a port of entry. ESTA approval only authorizes a Passenger to board a carrier for travel to the U.S. under the VWP (Visa Waiver Programme). (For additional information, please visit 'For International Visitors' at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel)

Transit through the United States:

Eligible nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the VWP require either a travel authorization or a visa to transit the United States. If a traveller is only planning to transit through the United States en route to another country, when he or she completes the travel authorization application in ESTA, the traveller should enter the words "In Transit" and his or her final destination location in the address lines in the “Address While in the United States” field on the application.

Countries eligible and currently enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program include:

Andorra

Hungary 

Norway

Australia

Iceland

Portugal

Austria

Ireland

Republic of Malta

Belgium

Italy

San Marino

Brunei

Japan

Singapore

Czech Republic

Latvia

Slovakia

Denmark

Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Estonia

Lithuania

South Korea

Finland

Luxembourg

Spain 

France

Monaco

Sweden

Germany

The Netherlands

Switzerland

Greece

New Zealand

United Kingdom

 

Advance Passenger Information 

Passengers travelling to the United States or Canada are required to provide Advance Passenger Information (API). This information is compulsory and is required for the purposes of ensuring aviation safety and security.

The Information required for each passenger is:

  • First Name (as on passport)
  • Family Name (as on passport)
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality
  • Passport Number
  • Passport Country
  • Expiry Date of Passport
  • Country of Residence
  • Alien Registration or Permanent Resident Card Number if applicable
  • Address while in U.S.A. if you are not a U.S. passport holder or a landed U.S. resident.

For further information, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/inspections_carriers_facilities/apis/

Permitted food items 

There are restrictions on food items that can be brought in to the U.S. For full details, see http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/kbyg/prohibited_restricted.xml

In order to avoid delays we suggest that all food items be carried in your hand luggage, declared and presented for inspection at the USCBP facility at Abu Dhabi Airport.

For any further information, please visit the website of the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi http://abudhabi.usembassy.gov

Valid travel documentation 

Your passport is a valuable document, without it you will be prevented from travelling to the U.S.A. It is the passenger's personal responsibility to ensure they have valid documentation, which meets the requirements of Etihad Airways, immigration and other government authorities at each destination/departure Airport.

To check passport, visa and health requirements visit the IATA Travel Centre on http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/.

CBP Customs Declaration form at Abu Dhabi International Airport 

All Etihad Airways flights from Abu Dhabi to the U.S. now depart Terminal 3 (T3), Abu Dhabi Airport. For details on preclearance of U.S. Customs and Immigration in Terminal 3 (Abu Dhabi) before departure see our section on Terminal 3 – U.S. immigration.

All passport holders under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) visiting the United States will require an individual, machine readable passport to avail of the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme. Otherwise you will require a visa, in advance, from your nearest U.S. Diplomatic or Consular Mission. For travel over 90 days a visa must be obtained.

Passengers must also complete a CBP Customs Declaration Form at the airport on the day of departure. One completed declaration form per family must be handed to the U.S. airport Customs official.  Forms available at check-in, onboard or in the Immigration Hall at Abu Dhabi Airport.

View a sample of the CBP Customs Declaration form