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Tightening at US ports: A new ESTA permit is required for Hungarian passengers boarding cruise ships

Tightening at US ports: A new ESTA permit is required for Hungarian passengers boarding cruise ships

author: Pinter Tondi

source: turizmus.com

February 21, 2024 at 1:24 pm





According to information from the shipping company MSC, the regulations regarding ESTA visas applied for and issued after August 1, 2023 are no longer valid. Under the new provision, travelers must apply for a new visa after entering the United States, our editors have learned.







The new regulations apply to Hungarian passengers on cruises departing from the U.S., and travel agencies that sell cruises must also prepare for the change during the main cruise season.

In accordance with the latest guidelines received from the US authorities Passengers with Hungarian passports must submit a new ESTA application (Entry Authorization Application) at the cruise port terminal upon boarding.“We first learned about the change last week from our passengers who were abroad, but on February 20, our office received official information about the change,” he told our editors. Kasaba Balogh, Head of Tourism Department at IBUSZ. So far, only the shipping company MSC has brought the change to the attention of the Hungarian Travel Agency, but the new rule is valid regardless of the company, as stipulated by the Immigration Office – the expert confirmed to our newspaper.

The regulations in place before were much more lenient. From 1 August 2023 until now, in the case of closed routes with a single-entry ESTA – that is, when you leave the ship and return to the same port – with a few exceptions, it has not been necessary to apply for a second ESTA to board the ship.

According to the change, passengers with a Hungarian passport must submit a new ESTA application (Entry Authorization Application) at the cruise port terminal upon boarding.

Photo: 123rf.com

Due to the tightening, IBUSZ now requires all its passengers to apply for a new ESTA immediately upon entering the United States. There is no practical obstacle to this, as the old license officially expires immediately after entry.

“However, it is useful to prepare passengers for the fact that the invalid entry permit will practically disappear from the system within 24-48 hours. The online interface can also warn about this, but after canceling the old pass, it does not stop the application process,” the travel specialist explained. Apply for a new ESTA.A new entry permit is usually prepared within 24 hours, and last week's experience shows that shipping companies allow boarding even with an ESTA application submitted. Travelers with B1 and B2 visas entitling them to stay for 6 months in the USA as a tourist or for professional reasons are not affected by any restrictions.







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