The USA is a vast country with different laws and cultures in every state, and different types of nature and climate. On this page, you can read about what you need to consider to travel safely through the US. This travel advice has been carefully compiled, based on information from national and international government sources.
Pay attention: this page does not mention any measures regarding the coronavirus, but only general travel advice.
Before planning your trip, make sure to read all important information about the coronavirus measures in the USA.
Based on this travel advice, no liability can be accepted in case of damage or injury. Even if all the advice is followed, there is always a chance that something may happen. You remain responsible for this at all times.
Travel advice USA: No travel restrictions, safe to travel.
The United States has a completely positive travel advice. This also applies to the states of Alaska and Hawaii. It is particularly important to check the security risks for each region. Due to the vast scale of the country, it is not possible to give general travel advice on nature, climate, culture or laws.
A good preparation
Even though there are no travel restrictions for the United States, this does not mean that there are no risks for travellers. That is why it is utterly important to begin your journey well-prepared. For example, check whether you have the necessary travel documents, like a passport and a US visa.
Travel documents and insurances
|Passport and USA visa (mandatory)
|All travellers who do not possess an American or Canadian passport, need to apply for a USA visa. Tourist and business travellers can apply for an ESTA. This electronic visa is valid for two years, as long as the passport that was used for the application is still valid. The maximum duration of stay is 90 consecutive days. Pay attention: an ESTA is linked to a passport. This means that your ESTA will expire when you get a new passport.
|Travel insurance with health coverage
|Get full coverage travel insurance. Especially health care costs can quickly mount up in America, and most health care insurances only reimburse the amount that it would cost in the UK or Ireland. To be sure that any (financial) damage can be compensated, you can get advice from an insurance company.
|International Driving Permit (IDP)
|In order to drive a vehicle in the United States, foreign nationals in some states require an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to their driving licence. This must be applied for before departure. These are not issued to foreigners in the USA. Always carry both licenses with you when travelling by car.
| You can no longer register your trip to the USA with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Instead, you are advised to carefully read the FCDO foreign travel check list and the crisis overseas page prior to your trip. Should you have any questions that cannot be answered on those pages, you can fill out an inquiry on the UK government website. However, keep in mind that the advice given is only general in nature and cannot be tailored to your specific trip.
It is recommended to write down the contact information of the British High Commission, the British Consulate General, or the Irish Embassy in case of any emergencies.
Safety recommendations for America
America, too, is not exempt from common crime. In order to eliminate as many risks as possible during your trip to the United States, it is wise to adhere to the following travel advice. Laws, regulations, customs and values may vary from state to state. However short your stay in a state, you should always obey the laws of that state.
Protection and safety
- Do not leave passports and other documents unattended anywhere. Not even in the car. Criminals are quick to target cars that may belong to tourists.
- Do not carry important items, such as telephones, wallets and passports in separate bags, but on your body. Especially in South Florida, tourists are at risk of becoming victims of theft.
- Avoid quiet and poorly lit places after dark, especially if you are alone.
- In the USA, anyone is legally allowed to carry a firearm. Usually, armed violence does not occur deliberately among tourists, but always be alert. Shootings are not uncommon, and although they are not aimed at tourists, you could find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time.
- If possible, try to avoid the slums of big cities, especially after dark. These are mostly certain neighbourhoods in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston.
In case of emergency, call 911. You can reach the embassy on the phone number +44 20 7499 9000
Customs and laws
- The consumption and purchase of alcohol is legal from the age of 21. For spirits, the minimum age in all states is 21. For beer, wine or low-alcoholic beverages, the minimum age in some states is 18. Be sure to inform yourself about the age limit before travelling to another state.
- Using or dealing illegal drugs in America is punishable by a fine or imprisonment. Some states are stricter than others. This is especially true for marijuana, which is legal in some states but illegal in others.
- Views on the LGBT community vary enormously. Find out in advance what the views are in the areas you are travelling to.
Forest fires and hurricanes
Especially on the west coast and in other dry parts of America, there is a risk of forest fires. The south and east coasts are prone to hurricanes and cyclones, especially from June to November. Keep an eye on the media coverage, ask at your hotel, or visit the website of the National Weather Service.
ESTA USA and immigration
It is not allowed to enter the USA without a valid visa or ESTA (meaning). You need to apply for it before you leave for the United States. A visa is only necessary if you want to stay in America longer than 90 days. Also, the visa for America is more expensive than an ESTA. Most people who travel to America for business or for a holiday therefore apply for the ESTA USA.
Read more about the ESTA and the ESTA form
Disclaimer: This travel advice for Sri Lanka is composed with care, nevertheless, e-Visa.ie accepts no liability for any problems, damage or injury resulting from the use of this information. You should always be alert during your trip in Sri Lanka and you are responsible for your own safety during your trip and stay in Sri Lanka, as well as for the choice of whether or not to make a certain trip. Before you travel to Sri Lanka it is advisable to consult the latest safety updates of the British government (www.gov.uk) or consult the British Embassy in Sri Lanka and / or information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the ESTA USA. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an ESTA directly with the immigration service (21 USD per ESTA, via esta.cbp.dhs.gov). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 21 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 30,55 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous ESTA USA was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.