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I am spending 10 days in the US and 10 days in Canada this summer, flying from the UK. When filling out the ESPA form, it asks if I am in the US 'in transit ' to another country- if I say no, I fill in details of my address while there for 10 days, if I say Yes, then no details are given. Which do I do?? It seems to make sense to fill in more info to allow them to contact me if required than not, but technically I am in transit- aren't I?

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    Do you mean ESTA? – Mark Mayo Mar 13 '17 at 13:57
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    You're not in transit because you're entering for ten days. "In transit" means you are leaving as soon as practical, as a rule of thumb usually (but perhaps not always) within 24 hours. – Calchas Mar 13 '17 at 13:58
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    @Calchas "perhaps not always": indeed, historically, transit could last for weeks, as might be the case for someone traveling from Canada to Mexico by land. While such a journey would not normally take weeks today, it could still reasonably require several days. The more precise test, I think, is whether the traveler has any independent purpose in the country other than to pass through to get to the other destination. – phoog Mar 13 '17 at 14:27
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Nope, transit generally means you're just in the airport - continuing on to another place, so you won't be at any address within the US.

That's why if you say yes, you don't need to give details of an address, because you're not leaving the airport, you're just 'on your way'.

You're actually visiting the US though, before visiting Canada, and as such, you'll have addresses there that you can and should complete.

  • A transit traveler can leave the airport. What transit really means is that the traveler is only in the country for the purpose of traveling to another country. If such a trip reasonably requires a two-day layover because of flight schedules, or a transfer to another airport, then it's still transit (although the traveler would normally have an address in the former case). – phoog Mar 13 '17 at 15:06
  • @phoog indeed, and I've been in 'transit' in Lithuana for 5 hours, but I still left the airport. Often you'll find these forms cover 95% of passengers to be simple, but there are always exceptions. – Mark Mayo Mar 13 '17 at 23:29

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