Apologies for the poor title. I'm not sure how to word this correctly.

Assuming I wanted to travel from the UK (UK passport holder) to Buffalo, NY. If I was to fly into Toronto Pearson (because it's the cheapest option apparently) is there anything I need to be aware of when it comes from crossing the border into the US?

I'd only be there for a few days (max. 2 weeks) but I'm not sure how this would work. Purpose of the visit is to meet a friend.

The entire travel plan would be to fly from the UK into Canada, and then travel to the US by road.

  • Do you have an ESTA approval for the US, or a visa? How would you be planning to leave the US?
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 31, 2016 at 22:01
  • 1
    Basically the same way, but in reverse. Bus back to Canada and then back on the plane to the UK. Also I haven't submitted an ESTA application or anything yet. I'm just curious to what the process is.
    – Jake
    Mar 31, 2016 at 22:04
  • Plus you need to narrow this question down just a might. Are you asking for advice on how to get from CA to US, physically? What paperwork there is? Before you answer "yes" to all of them, please be aware we are not travel agents and if you indicate you really want us to plan your trip, you'll likely end up with closure votes. Please use the tags and try to look up related questions that already provide answers for you.
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 31, 2016 at 22:05
  • 2
    Remember to get your eTA for Canada as well. Apr 1, 2016 at 2:17
  • 3
    For anyone reading this the leniency period is now over. Mar 5, 2020 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


As a UK Citizen, you are eligible for the VWP (Visa Waiver Program).

Upon entering the US by land, all you'll need is your passport and to not have entered any of the few proscribed countries in the past. Look at this page on the CBP web site. I've quoted Point 4 below, but you'll probably want to read the whole thing and ensure none of the issues apply to you. If they don't, you'll be allowed to stay in the US for up to 90 days, no problem.

4. What are the specific changes to the VWP?

Under the Act, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP:

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions).
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

These restrictions do not apply to VWP travelers whose presence in Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan was to perform military service in the armed forces of a program country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a program country. These military and official government services exceptions, however, do not apply to the dual national restriction.

Travelers who are known to fall into the dual national category noted above will receive notice via email on or about January 21, 2016 that their current ESTA is no longer valid.

The Act also requires that all VWP travelers use an electronic passport for travel to the United States by April 1, 2016. Finally, the Act includes other changes to the VWP to promote enhanced information sharing of terrorism and criminal data, and use of INTERPOL databases and notices for border screening purposes.

The vast majority of VWP eligible travelers will not be affected by the legislation.

Finally, this answer has only been about entering the US. To fly into Canada, as commented by @DJClayworth, you will need to apply to receive an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).


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