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About LBL

Reminder for All Foreign Travelers to the United States


Just a reminder that soon all foreign travelers to the United States from Visa Waiver Program countries will need to get authorization before boarding the aircraft or ship from the new Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA) program. While this new requirement does not apply to US citizens it will apply to many of our non-US citizen spouses who are planning to travel to the US for a stay of up to 90 days for business or pleasure.

Travelers will simply log on to the ESTA system on the internet and complete the application form on-line. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travelers obtain ESTA approval as soon as they have plans to travel to the United States. They must have obtained it no later than 72 hours before traveling. The travel authorization will remain valid for up to two years or until the person's passport expires, whichever happens first. It is valid for multiple trips to the US. Keep in mind though that actual entry into the US will still be ultimately determined by a CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer at the port of entry.

ESTA becomes mandatory on January 12, 2009. In order to apply for a travel authorization for trips to the US after that date please go to and follow the instructions.

Anita Mager
Director of the LBL Europe

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