So, Farewell, then, Visa Waiver Form?Back to Forum
Anonymous17 Jun 2010
Since the online ESTA forms were established, it has been a bit of a farce that a process designed to reduce bureaucracy actually doubled it.
Those who need to fill out a US Visa Waiver form will no longer be asked to do so from tomorrow, Friday 18 June.
It is unclear to me whether this is for selected US arrival points, or country wide, but worth BT professionals looking into this as I haven’t seen it reported elsewhere.17 Jun 2010
I entered the US at LAX last week on NZ001 and was told by the cabin crew that NZ were a trial carrier to no longer require the green forms. So whilst the passengers on the AF and VS flights (which unfortunately landed LAX just before us) stood there clutching their green forms, us on NZ just presented our passports and customs forms. The immigration official even remarked, “Ah, New Zealand, the easy flight”. It did make the process much quicker and simpler, and no bit of green card to worry about falling out of your passport whilst in the country.
However, on my return to London with United, there was a right drama both at check-in and at the gate where the United staff told me outright that I was completely mistaken, all carriers had to have the green form for Visa Waiver entrants and they needed to remove the slip from my passport. A “stand to the side” (whilst Y boarded and my fellow J passengers enjoyed a glass of the cheapo United sparkling) and a call down to immigration cleared up the issue that all carriers actually provide information electronically to the Dept of Homeland Security of departing passengers so they would know I hadn’t exceeded my 90 days. But it was rather surprising that they had never come across someone entering with country with their alliance partner and departing with them!
Anyway, hopefully now that everyone is exempt, United will get the memo!17 Jun 2010
So the US government tries to do something to simplify the situation and then United makes it worse…
Off the subject (apologies) but I remember similar experiences when e-tickets first came out, poorly informed gate staff would try to insist on seeing the paper ticket even when the boarding card had ‘e-ticket’ printed on it.17 Jun 2010
This is now confirmed, so while there have been a few years when the information was duplicated electronically and on the Green forms, ESTA has triumphed:
Make sure you keep your ESTA updated properly from now on..20 Jun 2010
The withdrawal of the green I-94w form is being implemented on a route-by-route basis throughout 2010, so you may fly to LAX one week and find you don’t have to complete one but then when travelling from the uk to another US destination a few weeks later you may need to complete one. Any pax with Visa’s will still need to complete the white I-94 form. The cabin crew on your flight should have the up to date info, unless of course your flying with AF or VS :-(.20 Jun 2010
Thats right – on the LCY SNN JFK route, i was told this in April, and indeed at SNN immigration there was no form to fill. The crew seemed 95% sure, but if it was not SNN, I think I would have filled one out just to be on the safe side (imagine being sent to the back of the queue at Miami, say!)
Anyway – Im still here, so cant report of any problems actually leaving the US yet, but as will be leaving from JFK I cant see there being much of a problem.21 Jun 2010
Golly, it does all seem rather slapdash and poorly orgainsed.
Surely either the electronic system ESTA either works or it does not. Why the need for a soft handover?
There are plans to charge for ESTA so it’s not all good news.22 Jun 2010
Just arrived in Philadelphia without a green form, no problems, through immigration in about 90 seconds and that included fingerprinting and picture. Also no queues at all – just one persion ahead ofg me so a great landing experiuence. JFK eat your heart out!!22 Jun 2010
Just an ironic add on to my earlier post and an update on the current security environment in the US. I took a connecting computer service from Philadephia and, after boarding, there was considerable confusion over seating. It transpired that 3 passengers had incorrectly boarded – their boarding passes for different flights having been accepted at the gate……. If the flight had not been busy, they might well have ended up in the wrong place!22 Jun 2010