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I am a French citizen with a French passport, currently living in Montreal (Canada).

I am going to Guadeloupe (French Caribbean region) transiting via New York.

I am taking a bus from Montreal to New York, arrive there at 7:40 am and flying to Guadeloupe the same day at 1:10 pm.

My return trip is basically the same process, I will take a plane from Guadeloupe to New York, arriving at 12 pm and leaving the same day at 8:45 pm, by bus, to go back to Canada.

Do I need an ESTA or is the I-94W form enough for this trip ??

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You don't need the ESTA/VWP for the land crossing into the US (link). However, for your return trip you WILL need an ESTA since you will be arriving by air from France.

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Assuming you have not done anything that makes you ineligable for the visa waiver program, what you need to enter the US for tourism/buisness/transit depends on how you enter it.

If you arrive by crossing an land border from canada or mexico then you don't need to do anything in advance though I understand that at some border crossings having an ESTA speeds up the process.

If you arrive on an approved commercial air or sea carrier then you need an ESTA. This it the only case where your residence in Canada makes any difference, if you were not resident in canada then you would also need to have a ticket out of the USA/Canada/etc area.

If you arrive on a private boat or plane then you will need a traditional visa.

So assuming your flight back to the US is on a regular airline you will need an ESTA for the return journey. While you don't strictly need it for the outgoing journey it probablly makes sense to get it before starting the trip.

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You will need an ESTA for the return trip from Guadeloupe to New York.

Having an ESTA will also make things quicker at the Canadian-US land border, because then you will not have to fill out the I-94W form. Instead, you simply pay the 6 dollars and they will print a pre-filled I-94W form with info from your ESTA.

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