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I'm French, and I will continue my studies in Montreal during the next 3 years.

Next year, I will go back to France for holidays, and I would like to take my flight from NYC. What are the formalities?

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    possible duplicate of Do I need a US visa to change planes in an American airport? – Karlson May 11 '14 at 17:29
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    @Karlson How does it work if you are traveling overland? – Relaxed May 11 '14 at 19:30
  • @Annoyed In the exact same manner unless you hold a Canadian citizenship – Karlson May 11 '14 at 19:34
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    @Karlson I thought ESTA was only for air or sea travel? – Relaxed May 11 '14 at 19:47
  • @Annoyed In order to enter US you need a visa or an ESTA for Visa Waiver which is exactly what the answer states. But irrespective of that crossing the border by land in New York City is not a possibility so you either cross the border elsewhere in the state of New York and have to travel through it or you cross in the port or the airport in which case ESTA applies. – Karlson May 11 '14 at 20:12
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You are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country (France).

(Here's a list of Visa Waiver Program countries)

Therefore:

  • If you plan to travel overland from Canada to US (bus, train, or car) you do not need to do anything in advance. At the border you will fill out an I-94W form. Source

  • If traveling by air, you should get electronic authorization first on the ESTA website which is required for flying into the US.

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