Please note that this article is giving an overview of the visas and other travel information to enter the United States of America and Europe, as of February 2013. New York Habitat advises you to contact your consulate or any other official government office before you travel outside of your country of citizenship in order to get the latest updated information.

Image of a passport you need to bring when travelling Remember to pack your passport when travelling to another country

When you’re planning a trip to another county, the first thing you should look into is the entry requirements of that particular country. Often when you’re travelling to a country near you, the entry requirements are fairly easy to comply with. For example, if you’re a EU citizen travelling to another country in Europe, you often don’t even need to bring along a passport, as a valid ID will do. However, when you want to visit a country on another continent, the rules may not be so simple.

Because we offer apartments in New York City, London and France here at New York Habitat, we often receive questions about entry requirements and visas for the United States and Europe. That’s why we decided to post this article about the documents you need to travel to New York City, London or France. We hope to clear things up for you so when you go on a holiday to another country in the future you’ll know exactly what papers to bring!

Documents You Need to Travel to New York City

Picture of Wall Street in New York City Wall Street in New York City

  • You are a US citizen or green card holder

If you are a US citizen or a green card holder, you need a passport if you’re travelling to New York City from outside the US. If you’re flying to New York from one of the other US States you’ll just need to bring any valid ID.

  • You are a citizen of the European Union

For citizens of most EU countries no visa is required to travel to the US. This is because most EU countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program. This is a program that lets citizens of 37 countries travel to the US without a visa for a period of up to 90 days. For the full list of participating countries, see the Visa Waiver Program.

If you’re from a country in the Visa Waiver Program and want to travel to the US for business or pleasure, you do need to apply to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA. If you’ve been denied a US visa in the past you cannot apply for ESTA, and have to apply for a US visa. You also have to apply for a visa if you’re coming to NYC for an internship (even if it’s only for a couple of months!), to work or to study.

To acquire ESTA authorization, you have to pay a fee of $14 per person, which can be paid by credit card only. The only way to acquire ESTA is online through the official ESTA website. You don’t need to print out the ESTA authorization page, though it is wise to keep a copy for your records. You do need the application number, so be sure to note it down and take it with you when you’re travelling. You also need to bring your passport to the US, as it’s the only accepted form of ID.

  • You are citizen of an Asia-Pacific country

Some Asia-Pacific countries are in the Visa Waiver Program, such as Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. If you’re coming from one of these countries you’ll need to apply for ESTA. If you want to stay in the US for a period of more than 90 days or if you want to work in the US you do need to apply for a visa.

Citizens from Asia-Pacific countries that are not in the Visa Waiver Program, such as China, do need to apply for a visa.

  • You are citizen of an African country

Citizens of African countries need to apply for a US visa to visit the US. To find out what type of visa you’ll need, check out this United States Government visa information source.

  • You are a citizen of North and South America (other than the United States)

North America:

If you are a citizen of Canada you don’t need a visa if you’re travelling to the US for leisure, as Canada has a special status. You do need to bring a passport if you want to visit the US.

If you are traveling from Mexico you need a visa to enter the United States.

If you are a citizen of a country in Central or South America you do need a visa to visit the US.

  • Additional Documents You Need to Travel to New York City

You need to fill in the I-94 form of the US Borders and Custom Protection when travelling to New York City You need to fill in the I-94 form of the US Borders and Custom Protection when travelling to New York City

If you’re flying to the US you’ll also need to fill in some forms on the plane, regardless of where you’re coming from. If you’re not a US citizen you need to fill in an I-94 form that’s provided to you on the plane. This documents the date of entry to the US and your status. You’ll also receive a Customs declaration form, which you’ll need to fill in on the plane as well. Keep the filled-in forms with you and hand them in at Border Control & Customs. The I-94 form will be stapled to your passport, and is not to be removed except by an immigration agent when you leave the country.

Documents You Need to Travel to Europe

Picture of the flag of the European Union The Schengen Agreement makes it easy to travel to different countries in the European Union

When you’re travelling to Europe there’s a difference between travelling to the United Kingdom and travelling to France. Namely, France is part of the Schengen Agreement while the UK is not. Almost the whole mainland of Europe (26 countries) is part of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement degreed that there are no border checks within the Schengen Area for both citizens of the EU and tourists. This means that if you’re coming to European Union as a tourist and are given entry to one of the Schengen countries, you’re free to travel through all of them. Since the UK is not part of this agreement you need a different permission to travel to London.

  • You are a citizen of the European Union

You don’t need a visa or even a passport to travel to the UK or France. You do need a valid ID (European ID card) to identify yourself. You are free to stay as long as you want, for leisure or for work.

  • You are a citizen of a North America country (Canada, USA, Mexico) or Greenland

You do not need a visa to come to France for leisure. You are free to stay in France and the other Schengen countries for 90 days. Do bring a passport!

If you’re coming to France for business or other purposes you do need a visa. For example, if you are coming to France for your studies, make sure that you apply for the appropriate visa at your local French Consulate before you travel. Once you are in France there are chances that you will need to register at the local immigration office (Office Francais de l’immigration et de l’intégration) within the first few days.

You don’t need a visa to come to the UK for leisure. You can even stay in the UK for a period of up to 6 months, but you do need to meet several requirements for this. For example, you have to have a valid passport, prove that you intend to leave the UK after your stay, and show that you have enough money to support yourself. If you do want to work in the UK, you’ll need a visa. To see if you meet the requirements to visit the UK without a visa see Requirements for General Visitors to the UK.

  • You are a citizen of a South American country

You do not need a visa to come to France for leisure. You are free to stay in France and the other Schengen countries for 90 days, unless you are a citizen of Belize, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana and Suriname. Citizens from these countries do need a visa.

Citizens from countries such as Brazil and Argentina don’t need a visa. You can stay in the UK for a period of up to 6 months if you meet the requirements. However, there are several countries in South America that do require a visa. These countries are called “visa nationals”. To see if you country requires a visa, check the list of visa nationals.

  • You are citizen of an Asia-Pacific country

You don’t need a visa for France or the UK if you’re coming from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia or Brunei for leisure. You can stay in France for 90 days, and in the UK for up to 6 months if you meet the requirements. Most of the other Asia-Pacific countries, including China, do need a visa.

  • You are citizen of an African country

You need a visa to enter both France and the UK.

We hope this article has helped to clear up the entry requirements to the US, the UK and France for you. Of course the rules for entry requirements are very complex and also subject to change, so always make sure to check what documents you need to bring before planning your holiday!

Have you ever had any trouble travelling to a foreign country?



Related apartment rental posts from New York Habitat:
  1. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York, London, Paris or the South of France!
  2. Create your own Tour de France through the Alps and the South of France
  3. Top Summer Music Festivals in the South of France: Le Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon
  4. A Writer’s Retreat in the South of France
  5. The Tour de France on the Champs Elysées with New York Habitat


 

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