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Visa Waiver Program Question

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james_c

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Sep 26, 2008
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Hi everyone,

This is my first post.

I have looked everywhere to find the answer to my question however i can't find anywhere a simple yes or no answer.

My question is:

I am flying in November to LAX from Brisbane, australia now i have a New Zealand Passport but i live in Australia.

I was just wondering if i would need to get a visa to travel to the USA, i have no criminal convictions or anything like that.

I am really stressing out as i have tried ringing so many places to get the answer like the New Zealand Consule and the Australian Consule even the USA Consule however no one can give me an answer for some reason.

Also another question is i am going for a day trip to Mexico from the USA do i need a VISA or anything special.

Thanks for whoever replies.
 

drron

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Jul 4, 2002
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You have no problems.Both Australia and NZ qualify for the visa waiver program.You can preregister if you like here-
https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html?_flowExecutionKey=_c5A97EEB9-5ACE-E3DB-F6D8-CF946C4184F0_k75224CE4-A06B-2010-6E64-EA153601A0D0
But even if you do you still have to fill out the Green US immigration card.When you go into Mexico just dont let anyone take the green slip they return to you when you enter the states.You need it to return and when you finally leave the USA.
So welcome and enjoy your trip.
 

milehighclub

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
898
Entry into the US under a NZ passport is easy. Just fill out the Green I94 Immigration Form that will be handed out onboard, as well as a blue customs form. On arrival hand them over, smile for the camera, and your fingerprints will be taken too.

Visiting Mexico is also easy. If your visit is within 20km of the US/Mexico border then you won't need a tourist card. If you plan to go further than 20km from the border then you will need to fill out arrival documents (Cost is about US$23 since your arriving by ground - it's usually included the cost of an air/cruise ticket).
 

Skyring

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post.

I have looked everywhere to find the answer to my question however i can't find anywhere a simple yes or no answer.

My question is:

I am flying in November to LAX from Brisbane, australia now i have a New Zealand Passport but i live in Australia.

I was just wondering if i would need to get a visa to travel to the USA, i have no criminal convictions or anything like that.

I am really stressing out as i have tried ringing so many places to get the answer like the New Zealand Consule and the Australian Consule even the USA Consule however no one can give me an answer for some reason.

Also another question is i am going for a day trip to Mexico from the USA do i need a VISA or anything special.

Thanks for whoever replies.
Welcome aboard! There'll be someone around with a tray of drinks soon, but in the meantime, stow your carryon, take off your jacket, switch everything to flight mode and fasten your seatbelt.

This Visa Waiver Program thing is fairly complex, which is why nobody official is going to give you a simple answer, but it boils down to whether you have a conviction for something reasonably dodgy.

If you've never been arrested, then you're fine. Just answer the questions honestly. Otherwise, read on.

There's a Catch-22 in the form, which asks if you've been arrested. If you answer Yes, the Yanks will want to know the details, which if it was a long time ago is going to be difficult to obtain. It's not a trivial process, apparently, but somewhere along the way they want to know if you've been convicted, and if you haven't, then you're clear. What the form should ask is whether you've been convicted of anything, and if so, what? The form also asks if you are a terrorist (or words to that effect) which is going to generate a blanket NO response, so you may draw your own conclusions as to the brainpower behind the questions.

My advice is that if you have been arrested, but it was a long time ago and you were never convicted, then you are probably pretty safe answering NO to the question. If you have a conviction, but it is spent or expunged, then you could probably say NO as well. Your record will be clean so far as any routine checks could tell. However, I wouldn't rule out the story emerging under more detailed scrutiny, and then you could be in hot water for not telling the whole truth.

You're the best person to know your circumstances, but put yourself in the shoes of the American immigration service. Do they care if you were arrested as a teenager for shoplifting a packet of Tim Tams and you are now a respectable middle-aged gentleman? Probably not. On the other hand, if you have just finished serving time for dealing drugs or credit card forgery, the Americans aren't going to be real keen on letting you waltz in.

There are other threads with all sorts of anecdotes and speculation and links to extracts of legislation, but the guts of it is that nobody, even the Americans themselves, are entirely sure of what a crime of moral turpitude is. If you want a definitive answer, there isn't one.
 

phyllisbird

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
18
Hey mate, I have the solution to your problem. There is a website run by the US Government regarding the new Electronic System for Travel Authorization on the website CBp.gov. It is easy, straightforward and mandatory for all Aust and NZ passport holders wishing to travel to the US.

Unfortunately, because I have not posted 10 posts before, I am not permitted to actually give you the web address of the site that could tell you all the details. How screwed up is this? Try googling the keywords I have mentioned above. Hope this helps!
 

simongr

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14,229
Or search this site for the word ESTA.

The reason for the 10 post requirement to post links is that we got hit with spambots a while ago who posted single posts with ads for penis enlargement and the like. Personally given that there are literally hundreds of people who can answer the question and provide links, I am happy to block the spambots.
 

drron

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AFF Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
20,196
Hey mate, I have the solution to your problem. There is a website run by the US Government regarding the new Electronic System for Travel Authorization on the website CBp.gov. It is easy, straightforward and mandatory for all Aust and NZ passport holders wishing to travel to the US.

Unfortunately, because I have not posted 10 posts before, I am not permitted to actually give you the web address of the site that could tell you all the details. How screwed up is this? Try googling the keywords I have mentioned above. Hope this helps!
Already posted the link in post 2
 

serfty

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G'day phyllisbird, welcome to AFF. :D

As posted, drron posted the direct link on past 2, although it's not obvious.
([noparse]https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.h...4-EA153601A0D0[/noparse]).

Again, as posted, even if you do fill this out online; you still currently need to fill out the green I94w card.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta
 

caggs

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
29
As far as the Question about being arrested, it's only if you

"have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?"

Other arrests don't matter. :p
 
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