UK Passport Service Guide

UK Passport Service Guide - Everything you need to know about applying for a UK passport.

British Embassy United States

British Embassy United States. Address, Telephone, Opening Times and Map. Travel Advice and UK Passport Entry Requirements to United States.

Click on the link to apply for your Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)

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Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements – Visas
The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days. The types of journeys that are permissible under the VWP include general travel/tourism, certain types of business and when transiting to another country.

The US requires all those travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme to provide details online at least 72 hours prior to travel. This is known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation or ESTA. This is mandatory. If you do not have an ESTA you will be refused travel to the USA.

If you have any doubts about whether you are eligible to enter the US under the VWP, or about visa matters generally, you are advised to contact the US Embassy in London before your travel.

US and UK Flag CombinedTo enter under the VWP your passport must contain a machine-readable zone (MRZ).

At the foot of the photo page. The MRZ contains 2 lines of text as letters, numbers and chevrons (>>>). If the area is blank the passport is not machine-readable and you need to apply for a visa.

The USA now has an agreement with the UK automatically extending the validity of your British passport for six months past the passport’s expiry date. So, your passport only needs to be valid for the duration of your stay in the USA.

Under the US Visa Waiver Program, if you are a British Citizen and you hold a valid British passport you will not require a visa to enter the USA providing:

  • Your stay is not more than 90 days and you hold a valid ticket for your onward or return journey.
  • your travel is for business, tourism or transit only.
  • You’re not a journalist on assignment nor is the purpose of your vist to find employment.
  • You have never been arrested and have not been convicted of a crime.
  • You have never been refused entry into or deported from the USA and have not previously violated the terms of admission under the US visa waiver program.
  • You have an individual machine readable passport.

Click on the link to apply for your Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)

Questions on UK passports or the British Embassy United States visit the UK Passport Forum

British Embassy United States

British Embassy United States
3100 Massachusetts Ave
Washington DC 20008
United States

+ 1 (202) 588 6500

+ 1 (202) 588 7870


Opening Times:
Monday to Friday: 14:00-22:30 (GMT)
Monday to Friday: 09:00-17:30 (Local Time)

Local Laws and Customs

Do not make flippant remarks about bombs or terrorism, especially when passing through US airports.

Laws vary from state to state, including speed limits and the age of consent. So does the age at which you may legally buy and consume alcohol, but this is usually 21 years.


Medical treatment can be very expensive; there are no special arrangements for British visitors. The British Embassy and Consulates-General cannot assist you with medical expenses. You should ensure that you have comprehensive medical insurance, which includes hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the UK.

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