Travelling to the USA from the UK

Travel Forums North America Travelling to the USA from the UK

1. Posted by Ark1880 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Morning, I am trying to visit my girlfriend who lives in California we have been together for three years and I was just about to fly out to propose to her So we could properly start our lives together- and then COVID happened.

It’s been a really tough few weeks and and as the months of this travel ban continue, I’ve decided I need to see her regardless of the challenge it may be.

Could anyone advise me on the options I may have, i have read about travelling via Mexico or Turkey and staying there for two weeks. Are those the only two options I have And if that is viable would I just get a standard B2 from those countries?

Thanks so much in advanced, Mark

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1508 posts) 1w 1 Star this if you like it!

I assume you are a UK citizen?

UK, and other citizens, are not allowed to enter the USA if they have been in any of the countries listed in the link during the previous 2 weeks:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html

>Are those the only two options I have

Not necessarily, though a) countries may have their own restrictions on UK/other citizens and b) flying into one of the designated US airports (in the link) from x country may not be feasible. You are correct that Mexico and Turkey are not on the list but you could, for example, explore options in the non-Schengen EU countries of Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

I suspect the main issue you will face is having sufficient documentary proof to convince US border officers that you have indeed been in an unlisted country for the previous fortnight, so make sure you have been out of the UK for the full 14 days (not including the days you fly in and out) and lots of paperwork (hard copy is best imo) to prove it e.g. flight documents, accommodation bookings and receipts etc.

It's also possible (probable. imo) that you will have more questioning at the US border than is usual, so be prepared for that. Going to so much trouble and expense because you have a strong desire to visit and propose to your girlfriend may make perfect sense to you but US border officers may need more convincing.

>And if that is viable would I just get a standard B2 from those countries?<

I'm rather confused by your question.

It is my understanding that you must apply for a B2 in your country of citizenship i.e. the UK (I assume). It's not a speedy process at the best of times (anywhere) and requires an in-person appointment. Whilst B2s can be granted on the day of interview there are no guarantees......and I very much doubt two weeks is enough time to organise the online application, make the appointment and attend it. Embassies and consulates have only just re-started their full visa processing services and there is, inevitably, a substantial backlog:

https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/

Even though UK citizens are not allowed US entry at the moment (unless they've been elsewhere for the previous 14 days) I don't think they are banned from applying for an ESTA. The ESTA lasts for 2 years and allows you up to 90 days in the US. Official site:

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Sep-2020, 07:03 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by 55vineyard (Budding Member 106 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Can you even get to Mexico from the UK right now? I have read several threads over on the TripAdvisor forums about UK folks who have had their flights to Mexico either cancelled or rescheduled by both BA and TUI including this month and October.
Also if you do make it to the US I strongly recommend you do NOT mention wanting to propose to your girlfriend. In fact I would not even use the word "girlfriend" since US Immigration tends to assume overseas travelers are going to overstay and/or work illegally.

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1508 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Very good advice about not mentioning the proposal.

The UK government is presently advising against 'all but essential travel' to countries other than those it has exempted (e.g. Denmark, Cyprus, Bermuda etc). When official UK advice is against all but essential travel UK citizens can still travel as they wish but 'ordinary' travel & health insurances are invalidated. Exempted countries are on this list (though they can and do change):

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel

>Can you even get to Mexico from the UK right now?

Yes, though there are no direct flights at the moment. Although flight numbers and routes were reduced (they are now gradually increasing) there have been flights from the UK to other countries throughout the whole period, including to the US. Not everyone who flies from the UK is a UK citizen.

It is probable that the cancellations you have read about on TA have been primarily related to package holiday flights. That particularly applies to TUI, which is almost entirely a package holiday operator.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Sep-2020, 19:58 GMT by leics2 ]