TRAVEL DOCUMENTS TO NORTH AMERICA
Travel document requirements
- US citizens must have a valid US passport
- Visitors travelling to or via the US must have a valid passport as well as one of the following:
- a valid visa or
- authorization to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) via the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) or
- a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Citizens of the countries listed below can travel to the US without a visa, provided that they fulfil US VWP requirements:
- The duration of your stay is no longer than 90 days.
- You have a confirmed return ticket or a ticket for a connecting international flight.
- You have sufficient funds to cover your entire stay.
- You will arrive in the US on an airline participating in VWP, such as Finnair.
- You have a valid machine-readable passport. If your passport is issued on or after 26 October 2006, it should also be a so-called biometric passport, which contains a microchip
- For Finnish citizens, a passport issued prior to October 26, 2006, is accepted even though it is not biometric.
Countries currently participating in VWP:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
For further information on VWP, see here
ESTA travel authorization
ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the US and ESTA travel authorization is mandatory for visitors travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver program.
Children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA authorization.
- The Customs and Border Protection unit of the United States charges a fee of 14 USD for each approved travel authorization – you can pay this online with a credit or debit card.
- You should receive approval straight away, although we recommend applying at least 72 hours before your departure.
- Your approved travel authorization is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
- If your application is denied and you wish to continue with your trip, you will have to apply for a non-immigrant visa at a US embassy or consulate.
- More information on ESTA
Secure Flight passenger information and advance passenger information (API)
You must provide the following Secure Flight information when making your reservation:
- full name (written exactly as it is on your passport)
- date of birth
- Redress Number, if you have been given a Redress Number by US authorities
In addition, The Customs and Border Protection unit of the United States require that airlines submit advance passenger information (passport details and the full address of your first night’s accommodation in the US) for all passengers travelling to, from or via the US. You can add all this information to your reservation using the Manage booking.
Privacy notice: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that you provide your full name, date of birth and gender for the purpose of watch list screening, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. section 114, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and 49 C.F.R parts 1540 and 1560. You may also provide your Redress Number, if available. Failure to provide your full name, date of birth and gender may result in denial of transport or denial of authority to enter the boarding area. The TSA may share information you provide with law enforcement or intelligence agencies under its published system of records notice. For more on TSA privacy policies, or to review the system of records notice and the privacy impact assessment, please see the TSA website – www.tsa.gov.
Statutory right to advance information
In addition to receiving Advance Passenger Information and Secure Flight data, the CBP has a statutory right to receive certain information regarding reservations made on Finnair flights to, from and via the US. Passengers are informed of this at the time they make their reservations.
The US-VISIT Program
The US-VISIT Program is aimed at improving the safety and security of visitors to the US, as well as US citizens. Certain data will be collected from each visitor to the US on arrival and again on departure.
On arrival in the US, the immigration officer will also collect unique data from each visitor in the form of fingerprints and a digital photograph.
All data obtained from visitors is stored securely and is made available only to authorized officials and selected law enforcement agencies on a need to know basis in their efforts to protect the US.
The Canada Border Services Agency has a statutory right to receive certain information on passengers who have reservations on Finnair flights to, from and via Canada. Passengers are informed of this at the time they make their reservations.
Effective 15 March 2016, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will be required for all visa-free nationals traveling to Canada unless they hold a visa or a residence permit (US citizens are exempt from the eTA). The eTA may be applied online for a cost of 7 CAD (approximately 5 EUR). It is recommended to submit the eTA application at least 72 hours prior to travel. Further information can be obtained here.
Officers of the Canada Border Services Agency recommend that parents who share custody of their children carry copies of their legal custody documents, such as custody rights. If you share custody and the other parent is not travelling with you, or if you are travelling with minors for whom you are not the parent or legal guardian, we recommend you carry a consent letter to provide authorization for you to take them on a trip and enter Canada.