Travel documents and advance information required by the United States

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
    • authorization to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) via the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
    • a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

If you are travelling to, from or via the US, please take some time to read through the requirements listed below. You may need to fulfil some or all of these requirements – if mandatory requirements are not fulfilled, you may not be allowed to take your flight.

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 not longer than 90 days.
  • You have a confirmed return ticket or a ticket for a connecting international flight (e-tickets and e-ticket receipts are accepted).
  • 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 and the front cover bears the following symbol:
  • For citizens of certain countries, only a biometric passport is accepted; For Finnish citizens, a passport issued prior to October 26, 2006, is accepted even though it is not biometric.
Please note that children who are included on a parent’s passport cannot travel under VWP, because their information cannot be read from the passport electronically.

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 and the United Kingdom.

For further information on VWP, see http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/business_pleasure/vwp/

ESTA travel authorization

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unit of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the US under VWP and to assess whether such travel poses any law enforcement or security risk. ESTA travel authorization is mandatory for visitors travelling to the US under VWP.

The DHS recommends that you submit your ESTA application through the CBP website no less than 72 hours prior to travel. Accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA authorization. If you possess a valid visa, you will still be able to travel to the US on that visa for the purpose that it was issued. If you are travelling on a valid visa, you do not need to apply for ESTA authorization.

When applying for ESTA authorization, you will be given a reference number confirming your application, which you should keep for your own reference. If you are travelling under VWP, you will not be required to show this reference number or any printout of your ESTA authorization to Finnair – your ESTA status will automatically be verified when you check in, via an electronic link between Finnair and CBP.

The CBP charges a fee of 14 USD for each approved ESTA travel authorization – you must pay this fee online with a credit or debit card.

You can apply for ESTA authorization at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/. Follow the instructions and answer all mandatory questions, then submit your application for travel authorization. The ESTA website is available in several languages.

For further information on ESTA, see http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/.

Your approved ESTA travel authorization is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. If you wish to travel with a passport that is not the passport declared under your ESTA authorization, you must submit a new ESTA application.

If your ESTA 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. For more information about visa application procedures, see www.travel.state.gov.

Advance Passenger Information (API)

The CBP require that airlines submit advance passenger information for all passengers travelling to, from or via the US. We therefore request that you send us the following information prior to travelling – your passport details and the full address of your first night’s accommodation in the US (including street name and number, city, state and zip code).

You can add all this information to your reservation using the Manage booking feature of our website.

TSA Secure Flight information

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) unit of the DHS runs a Secure Flight Program. Accordingly, Finnair is obligated to send the passenger information mentioned below to the TSA no later than 72 hours before flight departure; in the case that a reservation is made within 72 hours of departure, we will send this information immediately.

We will receive a security clearance decision from the TSA for each passenger travelling to, from or via the US. If the TSA does not grant security clearance for a particular passenger, we will not allow that passenger to board the flight. Furthermore, to avoid sanctions, we may have to cancel any reservation that lacks mandatory passenger information.

To ensure that we have all your mandatory Secure Flight information, fill in your passport details using the Manage booking feature of or website or send your information to your travel agency.

Secure Flight passenger information mandatory at the time of reservation

You must provide the following Secure Flight information when making your reservation:

  • full name (written exactly as it is on your passport)
  • gender
  • date of birth
  • Redress Number, if you have been given a Redress Number by US authorities
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.

Further information: http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/secure-flight-program

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. Currently, this process applies to all passengers aged between 14 and 79 travelling to the US holding a visa, and all passengers travelling under VWP.

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.

For further information on the US-VISIT Program, see http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/usv.shtm.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
We use cookies in order to give you a better customer experience. By continuing to browse this site, you agree to the placement of cookies on your device. For more information, please see our cookies and privacy policy, as well as the terms of use of this website.