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Will I be required to fill out an I-94W at the border between Canada and the US? My friends are planning to road-trip to Canada and then come get me and enter the US by land border. If someone doesn't have an ESTA for some reason, can they just fill out the I-94W form at the border as someone from a VWP country? Do they go in for a mini interview or something? Or if you have an ESTA, do they just let you go in from the window? I'm kind of confused.

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    "If someone doesn’t have an ESTA for some reason" ESTA is required in order to seek VWP entry to the US by land. If someone doesn't have it, they will be denied entry.
    – user102008
    Jan 29, 2023 at 23:52

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I don't know if they still require to fill paper forms for land entries, but if they do - only people using VWP (Visa Waiver Program) should fill I-94W (the green one), people seeking admission on any status other than WVP should fill I-94 (the white one).

ESTA is required for seeking admission under VWP, so someone who for whatever reason doesn't have ESTA - they will be denied entry if they don't have a visa.

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  • Previously you needed the paper form if you didn't have ESTA. Now that it's mandatory, no one should be filing out that form (though I presume CBP has some leniency for hapless travelers).
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 30, 2023 at 0:18
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    @phoog you can fill it out in advance on the CBP website using any computer, not necessarily a smartphone. (source: cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/i-94) Jan 30, 2023 at 6:34
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    @Johnnyjanko thanks. Is that "can" or "must"? I mean, suppose someone has a valid ESTA or visa and arrives at the border without having done so?
    – phoog
    Jan 30, 2023 at 8:15
  • @phoog from what I read in that article, if you don't have it, you'll have to fill it out "electronically" at a border checkpoint, presumably into a machine or using a tablet provided by the CBP. But that's just my private opinion. Jan 30, 2023 at 10:37
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Irish citizens typically qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) so don't require a Visa to enter the US. Instead you will need to get an ESTA before you travel, even for the land border.

There are no forms to fill out at the border anymore, everything is electronic. However you will still need a I-94 when you enter the US.

It is recommended you apply for an I-94 (for VWP and for Visa travelers) before you travel using the CBP One app (can also be done on the CBP I-94 website). Once you have paid for the I-94 on the app you must travel within 7 days to use it otherwise it will expire. You will still have photo and fingerprints taken at the border when you enter the country.

Obtaining the I-94 via the CBP One app is currently only possible for people entering the US via a land port of entry. Those flying in or entering by ship will continue to be processed by the CBP officer at immigration.

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