Requirements for visa-free entry to the USA
Online registration is required for travel to the USA. Online registration is through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization - known as ‘ESTA’ for short.
To ESTA registration
There is a duty on airlines to verify ESTA travel information: the transport of passengers wishing to enter the USA without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program will be prohibited if passengers have not received an electronic entry permit in advance from the US authorities.
Due to new regulations issued by the US authorities, passengers with an ESTA registration who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Sudan or Yemen in the past 5 years will not be eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. This will also affect passengers with dual citizenship of one of the above mentioned countries, intending to travel with an ESTA to the US. For those passengers all ESTAs on file may be revoked. They can only travel with a valid US Visa.
There is a fee of US$14 for ESTA registration. As it is valid for two years you should register as early as possible. Lufthansa further recommends that you take a print-out of this entry permission with you on your journey. Registration can also be done by third parties, such as family members.
You will find detailed information about ESTA here
Data collection and data transfer
Under the ‘Secure Flight’ programme of the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA), passengers are required to provide additional personal information for flights to the USA. This regulation also applies to flyovers across US territory, i.e. flights to and from Canada, Mexico and other countries in Central America, for example, which are scheduled to enter American airspace.
Further information about Secure Flight
Online input of additional APIS data for entry to the USA
For flights to the USA, airlines are legally obliged to transmit passenger data to the US authorities via the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS). This rule does not apply to passengers with a permanent resident permit (‘green card’) or to transit passengers. Besides the passport data, the following information is required:
- Country of residence
- Full first address during the stay in the USA:
- Zip code
Lufthansa passengers booking online can enter the required additional APIS data directly at the end of the booking process.
If passengers do not have all the necessary information at the time of booking, they can add the missing details later. By entering their name and Filekey (booking reference) here or in the password-protected area under ‘My account’, they can retrieve their booking and complete their data entries.
Enter APIS data online