Travel documents and advance information required by the United States

Travel documents and advance information required by the United States
1. US Secure Flight Program

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States has adopted the Secure Flight Program which collects advance information on every passenger arriving to or departing from the country or traveling via the United States or its air space.

All reservations including a destination in the United States, a departure from the United States, or passage through the United States, must include the following information before ticket issuance:

  • Full name (as it is written on the passport’s machine readable part, e.g., HAEMAELAEINEN LIISA ANNIKKI)
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality (e.g., Finnish)
  • The REDRESS number (if available)
  • The KNOWN TRAVELER number (if available)

Kindly submit the aforementioned information to us in connection with your confirmation. The carrier will forward the information to the TSA. Your flight reservation must contain this information no later than 72 hours prior to departure. In case the booking is made less than 72 hours prior to departure, the information must be submitted when making the reservation. If your reservation does not contain the requisite information, the airline may prevent you from boarding the flight.

*) The Redress number is a unique code issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to people who use the DHS TRIP (Traveler Redress Inquiry Program).
**) The Known Traveler number is used to identify travelers who have participated in the security screening program of United States authorities.

Further information about the US Secure Flight Program.


2. APIS (Advance Passenger Information System)

The Department of Homeland Security requires airlines to supply the authorities with advance information on the address and passport details of travelers arriving to the United States. The requirement applies to everyone except citizens of the United States. The information is collected at check-in, at latest.

To allow check-in procedures to proceed as quickly as possible, we recommend that travelers submit the details in advance, via the airlines’ websites.


Links to the web pages of airlines through which the details can be submitted


American Airlines
British Airways
N.B. Use upper case letters when logging in, and substitute A -> Å, A -> Ä, O -> Ö).
Virgin Atlantic
Other airlines

If your airline collects the details with a PDF form, print the form and take it with you to check-in.

You can also request CWT Kaleva Travel to submit the details on your behalf. In case you have not booked your accommodations through us, submit your address in the United States (name and number of street, city, state, and zip code). The service is subject to the visa processing fee quoted in our valid price list.


3. ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Auhtorization)

For the application form and further information, click


The Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection has adopted an electronic authorization procedure for travelers arriving to the United States. Travelers should complete the ESTA application online, no later than 72 hours prior to departure.

The authorization is subject to a charge and it is charged on traveler’s credit card in connection with the application.

An ESTA authorization is valid for a maximum of two years. The validity is shorter if your passport expires before that or if the passport information changes. If you do not have the ESTA authorization, the airline may prevent you from boarding the plane.


Enhanced ESTA Requirements – US


Georgia – Atlanta, Illinois – Chicago, California – Los Angeles, District of Columbia – Washington, DC, Texas – Dallas-Fort Worth, New York – New York City, California – San Francisco, Washington – Seattle, New Jersey – Newark –

US government introduces extra requirements for Electronic System for Travel Authorization for US-bound travelers in Visa Waiver Program beginning Nov. 3 2014.


The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced extra requirements for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) beginning Nov. 3. The requirements consist of answering seven additional questions when filling out the ESTA form, such as other names or aliases, other citizenships, and US contact information. ESTA applications can be completed electronically from the DHS website and usually are approved in several minutes.

Individuals with a current and valid ESTA do not need to reapply. However, upon the expiration of that ESTA or expiration of the passport a new ESTA with the new data fields will be required for any future travel under the VWP.

Please note that Passengers are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if the following applies:

– Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).

– Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.


4. Passport and visa

The United States requires every Finnish citizen arriving to the country without a visa to have a biometric passport. United States authorities recommend that children carry their own passports.

Finnish citizens may continue to travel to the United States without a visa provided that

  • the traveler has a valid biometric passport,
  • the traveler is vacationing or on a business trip,
  • the traveler’s journey does not last more than 90 days,
  • the traveler has a confirmed return ticket or a ticket for a connecting flight (or the travel itinerary/receipt of an e-ticket),
  • the traveler has funds that are sufficient to cover his/her entire stay in the United States,
  • the traveler’s US Secure Flight Program, APIS, and ESTA data has been appropriately completed and submitted in time,
  • the traveler arrives in the United States with a carrier participating in what is referred to as the Visa Waiver program.


Changes to the US Visa Waiver Program

From 1 April 2016, changes to the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) now require travelers entering the United States to have a biometric chip style passport, often known as an ‘epassport’, in addition to their Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Those with older, non-chip passports will be refused entry.

The new passport rules are separate from the ESTA and travelers are still required to get a valid ESTA before travelling to the US.

Please check you have a biometric e-passport before travelling to the US. The ESTA application process does not check which passport an applicant has, meaning it is possible to be granted an ESTA even if a traveler does not have an e-passport.

Travelers who do not have an e-passport and wish to travel to the US should replace their passport as soon as possible.

You can easily check if you have an e-passport by looking for the universal e-passport symbol:   on the front cover of the passport.

For more information about the US Visa Waiver Program visit the Department of Homeland Security website.

Please remember

Travelers who have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 1, 2011 are no longer eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. The same applies for anyone who is a dual Iranian, Iraqi, Sudanese or Syrian national.

Travelers who do not meet the requirements for an ESTA or the VWP will need to obtain a conventional visa.