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  • Travelling to Australia/NZ via the United States

    The option of travelling to Australia or New Zealand via the US is
    popular as it means you can have a decend baggage allowance when
    migrating rather than having to meet the rather childish rules imposed
    by airlines flying through the Far East.

    The US has just suspended two programs allowing travellers to transit
    the US without a visa:
    http://travel.state.gov/twov.release.html
    http://travel.state.gov/twov.faq.html

    As of now, this does not affect British citizens and others entitled
    to use the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

    However, effective October 1, British citizens will not be able to use
    the VWP unless:
    - they have a machine readable passport; and
    - all family members have their own (machine readable) passport (ie no
    children on parents passports).

    http://travel.state.gov/vwp.html
    http://www.passports.gov.uk/news/new...intElement=589

    Prior to the suspension of the transit programs, British people and
    other VWP nationals would still have been able to transit the US for
    Australia/NZ after October 1 even if they did not have machine
    readable passports.

    However, from October individuals and families travelling to Australia
    and NZ via the US (or returning) will most likely be denied boarding
    unless they either have a US tourist visa (which most British people
    won't have), or meet the updated requirements for the Visa Waiver
    program.

    If new passports are required it is easiest to get them while still
    living in the UK - http://www.passports.gov.uk

    Jeremy

    This is not intended to be legal advice in any jurisdiction

  • #2
    Travelling to Australia/NZ via the United States

    Passports issued in the UK will be MRP passports,
    I'm wondering if there are any old non-MRP passports issued in the UK
    and still in circulation.

    however passportsissued at some British High Commissions/consulates overseas are NOTmachine readable.
    I think the larger passport issuing offices overseas, such as the High
    Commission in Canberra, do issue MRPs, but many of the smaller ones
    don't.

    I've always thought it something of a joke the way most countries
    implement all this advanced technology in the domestic passport
    issuing offices, while they let overseas consulates issue passports
    that are at least a decade out of date in terms of security features.

    This is another very good reason for getting yourpassport renewed in the UK if it is close to expiring before youemigrate, as the British High Commission in the country you are movingto may not be able to issue MRPs ( you would then run into problemslater if you ever needed to visit or transit the States).
    That's correct. UKPS only deals with UK residents, and if you are
    living overseas and the local British mission isn't equipped to issue
    MRPs, then you need to think about applying for a US tourist visa,
    which has its own costs and potential pitfalls.

    To add insult to injury, British missions overseas charge *more* for a
    UK passport than the UK Passport Service does.

    Jeremy
    This is not intended to be legal advice in any jurisdiction

    Comment


    • #3
      Travelling to Australia/NZ via the United States


      Jeremy,

      If living in Oz, is there anything to stop someone applying for a new UK
      passport using a relative's address in the UK?

      Its just a speculative question - when I marry, I shall be living in Oz;
      to get my UK passport re-issued in my married name, do I have to send it
      to Canberra or can I send it to the UK, using a UK address for its
      return - maybe my sister? I gather that not only would this be cheaper,
      but I'm told that Canberra are not as quick as the UKPA at present.

      The cost isn't the main issue, its the fact that I have elderly parents
      in the UK, and I shall be worried the whole time I am without a
      passport, just in case I am needed in the UK fast. I don't suppose there
      is any system in place by which I can return to the UK at a day's notice
      (if I get the phone call every migrant dreads) if I have surrendered my
      passport to Canberra?

      Any advice much appreciated,

      Pollyana


      --
      Posted via http://britishexpats.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Travelling to Australia/NZ via the United States

        >On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 22:53:31 +0000, Pollyana <[email protected]> wrote:
        Jeremy,If living in Oz, is there anything to stop someone applying for a new UKpassport using a relative's address in the UK?
        I'd think that officially one should not do this. Plus, any saving in
        terms of lower fee would be offset by courier costs to and from the
        UK.
        Its just a speculative question - when I marry, I shall be living in Oz;to get my UK passport re-issued in my married name, do I have to send itto Canberra or can I send it to the UK, using a UK address for itsreturn - maybe my sister? I gather that not only would this be cheaper,but I'm told that Canberra are not as quick as the UKPA at present.

        It's hard to know without trying. You should maybe put a note with
        the application explaining the circumstances. I note they seem
        unwilling to talk for free, which is unacceptable.

        As a British citizen you can go onto the overseas electoral roll for I
        think either 15 or 20 years after you've left the UK. It may make
        sense to do this, so you can then complain to your MP in Britain about
        poor service like this (and also the higher cost of UK passports on
        top of that). Contact the electoral registration department of your
        local council for more information.
        The cost isn't the main issue, its the fact that I have elderly parentsin the UK, and I shall be worried the whole time I am without apassport, just in case I am needed in the UK fast. I don't suppose thereis any system in place by which I can return to the UK at a day's notice(if I get the phone call every migrant dreads) if I have surrendered mypassport to Canberra?
        In such a circumstance you'd have to hope that Canberra were willing
        to return your passport quickly.

        You'll need to carry old and new passports if your visa is in the old
        one. You may want to get DIMIA to re-evidence it, if that's possible,
        although a handwritten visa label (if they can't print one) may also
        lead to hassles in travelling.

        Jeremy

        This is not intended to be legal advice in any jurisdiction

        Comment


        • #5
          Travelling to Australia/NZ via the United States


          Thanks Jeremy; No great hardship carrying both passports if the visa is
          in the old one, I'm quite happy to do that. I don't have time to get a
          new passport between the wedding and getting the second stage of the
          spouse visa anyway, so I'm quite prepared for that.

          Sounds like Canberra with a begging letter is the way to go when I have
          to get a new UK one - this one expires early 2006.


          --
          Posted via http://britishexpats.com

          Comment

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