Travelling to The USA

I have recently been to New York City and had to register online with the US Immigration website.

This is a new procedure that the US government have brought in which you must register your details before you travel to the US. This replaces the green immigration forms that have been used in the past, and that you usually have to fill in during the flight.

After answering all the questions online, you are then given a unique reference number, which lasts for two years, so that you can travel back and forth to the US without having to fill in the form each time.

Imagine my surprise when I checked in at Gatwick to be given a paper copy of the form, which according to British Airways staff, I had to fill in anyway.

According to British Airways, even though the online form is a requirement of the US Government, they are still insisting that the paper forms are also done.

One word of warning, take a note of your reference number online, as if you try and fill in your details again before you travel, the US immigration department, will see this and may question or even detain you, as they see this as a false declaration.

On arrival at JFK, the queue for immigration was very long and it took two hours to clear immigration even though we were the only British Airways flight to arrive at that time of day.

It was also the first time, I have had my finger prints taken and photograph taken, I assume this will not be necessary each time I travel to the US.