PASSPORTS & VISAS
The following information is for British citizens only.
A standard ten year British passport is required for all holidays, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of return travel, however, please see any exceptions to this below. If your passport expires earlier, it may still be acceptable but you should contact your local passport office or the consulate or embassy of the country to be visited for detailed advice. Clients applying for a new passport should allow a minimum of six weeks for the application to be processed and to renew an expired one, three weeks. Lost, stolen and new passports will take one week minimum to replace. It is essential that you check whether you are in possession of a valid passport before you make your holiday booking.
If your passport is endorsed in any way, you should check immigration requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate of the country to be visited. Passport stamps – You should be aware that if your passport contains previous entry or visa stamps of certain countries you might encounter problems when visiting other countries, e.g. a passport indicating you have previously travelled to Israel may not be accepted by a number of Arab countries.
Holders of British Subject Passports and Non-British Citizens. We can only advise on immigration requirements if your passport was issued in the UK and endorsed 'British Citizen'. Holders of a British Subject passport and non-British citizens should check immigration requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate of the country to be visited, as should clients with Dual Nationality/Renounced Citizenship.
Visas – The following visa information is for British Citizens only.
NOTE: Some travellers including those with certain serious communicable illnesses, criminal records, previous deportations, visa overstays and other problems may not be eligible by law to enter certain countries. Such travellers must check with the embassy or consulate of the country to be visited in order to ascertain if they are eligible to apply for a special restricted visa. In the case of the USA, they will be refused entry if they attempt to use the Visa Waiver Programme. Holts Tours regrets that it cannot accept liability for any passenger who has not obtained the correct documentation prior to travel.
USA – The USA Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows most British Citizen Passport Holders to visit the USA up to 90 days without the need to gain a visa in advance. As detailed above, some exclusions do apply and in these cases a visa will usually need to be gained in advance
Application to travel under the VWP must be made online not less than 72 hours prior to travel. This system is called Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) and is an automated process, which determines the eligibility of each visitor based on the criteria set out under the VWP. Your application may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the US and travellers are encouraged to apply as soon as they begin to plan their trip. ESTA, once obtained, will be valid for two years or the validity of the traveller's passport (whichever is shorter). For more information, and to apply online please visit the following website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. From 8th September 2010 a charge of $14 applies and can be paid for using major credit cards.
You must also ensure that you adhere to the passport rules under the VWP. Your passport must contain a machine readable zone (MRZ) identified as the two lines of text as letters, numbers and chevrons (>>>) found at the foot of the photo page. If your passport does not meet this requirement you will need to apply for a visa.
This information has been issued for general guidance only. If you have any doubt about travel to the US or require any further information we strongly recommend that you contact the US Embassy's Live Operator Assisted Visa Information on 0904 2450100 (calls cost £1.23 per minute at the time of going to print) or visit the US Embassy's website on www.usembassy.org.uk for further information.
South Africa – All visitors are required to have two blank pages in their passport to enable an entry visa to be issued upon arrival in the country.
Russia – Visas can be obtained through Holts Tours and visa application forms together with further details on how to obtain the visas will be sent to you with your confirmation invoice. The visa cost is currently £72 per person for Russia. The visa service charge is £99 per person.