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I'm a Lithuanian citizen, studying in the UK (though I did not officially change my country of residence here at Lithuania, so I guess I'm still officially living here) going on a research visit to Canada. I would like to visit New York during some weekend while in Canada, so I need to apply for an ESTA. Few questions:

  • Is this flight scenario still OK for an ESTA ? London -> Toronto -> NY -> Toronto -> London
  • Do I need to buy plane tickets before applying for an ESTA ? I.e. what if my application gets rejected for some reason ?
  • What should I say on the application when asked for the country where I live ? I mean, officially I live in Lithuania, in reality I live in the UK - I study here and I also have an official part time job here in London. Also my return tickets from Canada will be to London, not Lithuania.
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If you're studying in the UK as a full-time student, that means you're resident in the UK. I don't think it matters that you're a Lithuanian citizen as far as that's concerned. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 10 '12 at 11:00
    
@AnkurBanerjee It does matter because for ESTA you have to be a citizen of the country in the program. –  Karlson Jan 10 '12 at 14:24
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Whether you have resident status is decided by the government and the law so I wouldn't be surprised if being a full time student varies from country to country as to whether it gets you resident status. Laws are full of weird loopholes and whatnot. –  hippietrail Jan 10 '12 at 17:56
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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

To answer them in order:

  • Yes it is OK, but why consider it? You don't know if ESTA will be approved so reserve: London->Toronto->London and then if you need to depending on the length of your visit you may be able to get a ticket in Toronto or reserve it separately later. If the question does come up see below.
  • Well you know that you will be in Toronto so that ticket I'd buy. But to travel to the US just reserve a car. Reservation cancellation for a car will be much cheaper then cancelling a flight. Toronto is 8 hours drive from New York so quite a few people do it so it's not that uncommon.
  • You are a Lithuanian citizen currently living in the UK. Country of citizenship being different from country of residence is OK.

There are websites like USA Travel Visa that can help

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Turns out you can apply for ESTA before buying plane tickets and that's what I did. I put UK as the country I live in and got the approval. Then I bought plane tickets and updated the ESTA application with my flight information. So basically if I don't get rejected at the border, everything should be OK. –  Saulius Valatka Jan 10 '12 at 15:13
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