Well we mulled over our America trip a little after Donald Trump took over like some mad travel agent and enacted his crazy travel ban. Boyfriend and I were not going to be affected directly, but it was quite off putting. We were also concerned about extra queues, more security checks, and protests. But I wanted to go somewhere special for my birthday so boyfriend relented and has given his permission!
Being from the UK we can take advantage of the ESTA Visa Waiver scheme. It costs $14 each, and they do a little background check on you and make sure you’re planning terrorist crimes and other mischief. In fact one of the questions directly asks you if you’re planning terrorism or genocide. Boyfriend asked why they would leave that question in there as it’s so dumb, but it’s clearly there to amuse you 45hrs into a 47hr long application.
Ok, that’s a little exaggeration. But its does take a while, and you have to do a separate application for each traveler although you can pay for them altogether. Obviously, you have to provide your name, address, nationality, and passport details. But also you employer and their address, your parents names, and an emergency contact (with their email address). You also need the address of where you’re staying in the US so you have to book your accommodation first, which is a bit annoying because if they reject your application you can’t travel and probably can’t get your hotel money back. The it asks the silly questions about whether you’re going to commit genocide or if you have yellow fever. The for some reason you have to put your name, dob, and passport number in again. And then you send it off and wait for them to tell you if you’re allowed in the country.
So we did ours on Sunday and are still waiting, but it’s only Tuesday (for me…I schedule posts). They aim for 72hrs so hopefully we’ll know soon if we’re going to America or if we’ve wasted loads of money…