Travel to and from the USA

When you travel to, via, or from the United States, you might need extra documents or add more information. Here’s all you need to know and arrange.

Arrange visa

If you need to arrange a visa, our partner Sherpa can take care of your application at a fee. Or you can organise it yourself via the applicable authorities. To check in online via KLM.com, your travel documents (visa or otherwise) must be complete.

ESTA instead of visa

The Visa Waiver Programme allows citizens of specific countries to travel visa-free to the United States. Instead of a visa, you will have to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation).

Check which countries participate in the Visa Waiver Programme

Requesting ESTA

If you need an ESTA, you can choose to let our partner Sherpa take care of everything for you at a fee. Or you can organise it yourself via the US Customs and Border Protection website.

Make sure to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before departure. After this, there may not be enough time to process your application.

When applying for an ESTA, please enter the information exactly as stated in your passport. If you have a new passport or your previous ESTA has expired, you’ll need to apply for a new ESTA. After approval, you’ll receive a reference number. ESTA authorisation remains valid for 2 years.

Secure Flight programme

The Secure Flight programme of the United States government requires airlines to register some personal data when you book your flight. This includes your gender, date of birth, and your first and family name exactly as stated in your passport. We are required to pass this information of all our passengers to the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at least 72 hours before departure.

TSA PreCheck

Travelling from or within the USA? You can participate in the PreCheck programme of the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You’ll still have to undergo a quick security check but don’t need to remove your electronic devices, liquids, shoes, belt, and light jackets.

When you’re accepted to the programme, make sure to add your TSA Known Traveller Number via My Trip. The TSA PreCheck logo or the text “TSA PRE” will appear on your boarding pass.

Mobile Passport Control app

If you are an American or Canadian citizen, you can expedite your passage through US customs using the free and secure Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app. By successfully utilizing this app, there is no longer a requirement for filling out paper forms or use an APC kiosk, making your process faster and more efficient.