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Me and My Mother currently reside in the USA, California

My Mom came to the USA with B1/B2 visa and she is from Iran and it is not included in the countries of VWP and I am permanent resident of California, we are flying to Texas and I have seen this:

Required for transit flights through United States Electronic travel authorization In order to comply with instructions for the US Government, we inform you that all passengers regardless of nationality who are travelling to or transiting through the United States of America will need to obtain an electronic preauthorization from the 12 January 2009 onwards. * Bellow you can find the access link to complete the corresponding application. https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

I got the tickets online. I don't know what ESTA is. Do we need to do it? It is talking about people under the Visa Waiver Program: I do not even know if we are under this visa or not?

  • Will you and your mother be entering the US from another country (travelling to the USA), or transiting through the US on a journey from one non-US country to another non-US country (transiting through the USA)? – Gagravarr Mar 18 '15 at 18:08
  • we are in California right now and we want to go to Texas – Nickool Mar 18 '15 at 18:09
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    Surely the section you quoted is quite clear then? You are neither travelling to, nor transiting through the USA, so no ESTA is required – Gagravarr Mar 18 '15 at 18:12
  • doesn't transiting through USA means for example from one state to another state? – Nickool Mar 18 '15 at 18:12
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No, you do not need an ESTA. In this context, "transit" means travelling from country A to country B with a stop in the USA on the way. You are already in the USA and are not intending to enter or leave, so your flight is a domestic flight. The ESTA and VWP rules do not apply.

As a domestic flight passenger, you will not encounter US Customs and Border Protection officers. You will still have to pass through airport security (TSA), but that applies to all flights and they do not deal with visa issues at all.

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    @Nickparsa you will not encounter routine CBP border checks in the airport, but if your travels in Texas take you near the Mexican border, you might find some internal immigration checkpoints. If you are near Mexico, you should be prepared to show evidence of your and your mother's legal status in the US. – phoog Mar 18 '15 at 21:02
  • We go from LAX, yes we will have our visas prepared to show them. – Nickool Mar 18 '15 at 22:01

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