UPDATE : 2021/05/24
UPDATE : 2021/06/13
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UPDATE : 2021/05/30
UPDATE : 2021/05/24
UPDATE : 2021/05/24
It is not necessary to apply for visa only if traveling to Hawaii within 90days of sightseeing, short-term business trip or transit, however ESTA application is mandatory. Under Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the system established by U.S. government, those approved for Travel Authorization through ESTA are permitted to travel to Hawaii without holding visa. Although visa is not required for general trip to Hawaii, be sure to apply for ESTA before travel.
Those who have been denied entry to the U.S., have not approved of visa application, or have criminal record in the past may not be permitted to travel by ESTA, and may receive the notification of “Travel authorization declined”. Those who fit in those situations would not be eligible for applying for ESTA, therefore consider apply for visa at the U.S. embassy. In addition, under the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, those who have traveled or stayed in Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, or North Korea after March 1, 2011 are not authorized to travel to the U.S. by ESTA in general.
Due to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) infection in each country, U.S. government is restricting the immigration since March 2020.
US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. embassy recommend applying for ESTA as soon as your trip to Hawaii become concrete. ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization system for all ages traveling to Hawaii. Apply ESTA for all your family and group members when traveling together.
The VWP is available to British subjects only if they have permanent residency in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Mann, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, or Wales.
Check “What is Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?” for more information about VWP.
|Passport requirements||Since April 1, 2016, carry an e-passport (with an IC chip) became a requirement for those traveling to the U.S. under ESTA. An e-passport has logo on the cover showing that is with IC chip.|
|QR code requirements||Effective September 1, 2020, state of Hawaii government made a requirement for all visitors to Hawaii to register for pre-travel testing Safe Travels Program (Travel & Health form). It is mandatory to create an account in the program before traveling to Hawaii, and register contact information, flight information, address of stay in Hawaii and current health condition. It is also required to have certificate of testing for Covid-19 confirmed negative from PCR test taken at trusted medical institution within 72hours before departure. Certificate of negative test result is required to be up loaded to Safe Travels Program (Travel & Health form).
A PCR test is subjected for those over age 5 and infants under age 4 are not subjected to the test.
Those completed the registration for Safe Travels Program (Travel & Heal form) will receive a QR code from Hawaii state department of health about 24 hours prior to departure which is necessary for the entry to the country. The QR code shows current health status, and immigration inspector will check those details by scanning it at the airport. Save QR code on your smartphone and show it to immigration inspector on arrival at the Hawaii airport.
|Enter the country under ESTA||Customs declaration
ESTA authorization information is not required to show at the arrival airport.
|Enter the country under visa||I-94 form (arrival/departure record), customs declaration|
I-94 form and custom declaration will be issued on the return air/sea craft. Fill out the form in Roman alphabet with black or blue point pen.
On the arrival at the airport, follow guidance of the staff and head to immigration area.
Stand in line of immigration screening for non-resident. Step forward once the immigration officer calls and show your passport, customs declaration, and I-94 form (visa holder only). After answering questions such as purpose of visit and the length of stay, fingerprints and face photo will be taken. Effective September 1, 2020, state of Hawaii government made a requirement for all visitors to Hawaii to register for pre-travel testing Safe Travels Program (Travel & Health form).
It is mandatory to create an account in the program before traveling to Hawaii, and register contact information, flight information, address of stay in Hawaii and current health condition. It is also required to have certificate of testing for Covid-19 confirmed negative from PCR test taken at trusted medical institution within 72hours before departure. Certificate of negative test result is required to be up loaded to Safe Travels Program (Travel & Health form).
After completing the registration to Safe Travels Program (Travel & Heal form), a QR code necessary for the entry to the country will be received from Hawaii state department of health by E-mail about 24 hours prior to departure. The QR code shows current health status, and immigration inspector will check those details by scanning it at the airport. Save QR code on your smartphone, it will be asked to show to immigration inspector on arrival at the Hawaii airport. Please be advised that the use of smartphone’s camera and photographing tools are prohibited at immigration area for security reasons. E-mail address is necessary for registering Safe Travel Programs (Travel & Health form). Those who do not have personal computer or smartphone are able to register by using family or friend’s E-mail address though those name and address need to be the one who is traveling.
Automated Passport Control (APC) “kiosk” is available at Daniel K. Inoue international airport on Oahu. Kiosk is a passport control terminal system subjected for those who are re-entering the U.S. under ESTA with travel history to the country with ESTA since 2009. By kiosk, you can scan passport, record fingerprints, and take head shot on your own without having immigration officer and that shortens time for immigration procedures. On the other hand, if the passport has been renewed, kiosk would not be available even for those who entered the U.S. with ESTA before. Please be advised that regular immigration procedure will be required if your passport has been renewed.
Other than Daniel K. Inoue airport, APC kiosks are installed at major U.S. airports.
U.S. and Canadian passport holders and international visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries are eligible to use APC kiosks. Visa Waiver Program visitors must have Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA) approval prior to travel and have visited the United States on at least one occasion after 2008.”
For more details of kiosk (APC), check website of “CBP (United States Customs and Border Protection)”.
An APC receipt for the entry will be issued after completing these procedures. Submit this receipt to the immigration officer.
Go to Baggage Claim to pick up your baggage(s)
Since baggage is carried by luggage carrousel, wait in front of the one showing your boarding flight number and pick up your luggage by checking claim tag.
In many cases they are arranged on the floor already, check them as well.
Submit a customs declaration and head for the exit. Follow inspector’s instruction in case your luggage was randomly selected for X-ray inspection.
Immigration screening and other procedures necessary to enter the U.S. will begin once you have arrived at Hawaii. Travelers on their first trips overseas might feel a little nervous during the immigration screening. The flow of immigration screening in Hawaii is explained in greater detail below, to help relieve this tension and unease as much as possible.
Immigration screening will take place soon after you have landed at Honolulu International Airport. After disembarking from the aircraft, follow the arrows in the airport, then the first area you will see is the immigration screening area. Here there are separate lines for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and visitors from overseas. Get in a line following the sign that says “Foreign Passport” or “Non-Resident.” The lines marked “American Citizen” are for U.S. citizens. Since airport security personnel will guide travelers to the correct lines, you should be able to line up relatively smoothly.
It is your turn when the immigration officer calls “Next”. Please be advised not to go close to the officer before called for your turn otherwise you will be warned. Prepare your passport and customs declaration you filled in the aircraft on your hand while waiting in line for immigration inspection. By applying for ESTA to hold travel authorization, filling out of I-94 form became unnecessary though it was mandatory before. ESTA application is mandatory for traveling to Hawaii without holding any visas, and we suggest for early application.
After you are called to the booth, the immigration officer will ask you a number of questions, but they are nothing difficult and are rather simple. Typical questions are described below. It would be convenient for you and family or group members traveling with you to familiarize yourselves with these questions in advance.
|①What is the purpose of your trip?||In most cases, the appropriate answer is “Sightseeing.”|
|②How long are you staying?||Answer by giving the number of days you will stay, such as “five days” or “one week.” In some cases, you might be asked “When are you going back?” instead of “How long are you staying?” In such a case, give the date of your return flight. If you find it difficult to give the date immediately, you may simply show your return ticket or itinerary.|
|③Where are you going to be staying?||Give the name of the hotel or condominium where you will be staying. If you will stay with friends or family and find it difficult to answer the question, show the immigration officer the address of where you will be staying written on a piece of paper. It might be smoother just to show the customs declaration form to the officer, since you have already filled out the address of your stay there.|
After the immigration screening questions, fingerprints will be recorded. The officer will inform you as “Finger print” with gesture, place your fingers on the device as instructed. Recorded fingerprints will not be used for any purposes other than immigration screening. Those visitors entered the country under ESTA in the past may be exempted from fingerprints.
Lastly, the immigration screening process will be complete after you have taken an identification photograph. The device used to record your fingerprints also is equipped with a camera to take a photograph, so look directly at the lens to take the photo. Remove any headwear or sunglasses before taking the photo. When the immigration officer hands your passport back to you, the screening is complete. Tell the officer “Thank you” and exit the immigration screening area.
Automated Passport Control (APC) “kiosk” is available at Daniel K. Inoue international airport on Oahu since June 2015. Kiosk is a device to complete the immigration procedure on the terminal screen without immigration officer’s inspection. Check the contents below for certain conditions for the use of kiosk.
Kiosk is only available for those travelers with ESTA. Those visitors with tourist visa, student visa, and green card are not subjected to use kiosk, therefore go through immigration officer for the inspection procedure.
Those who visited the U.S. under ESTA in the past are subject to use of kiosk. In case of expiration of ESTA, kiosk will be permitted to use by re-apply ESTA and hold travel authorization.
Even satisfying the conditions above, kiosk will not be available if you renew the passport. Those who renewed or made any changes to the passport used for past travel to the U.S. are out of subject to the eligibility for kiosk. Also, ESTA will be expired in the same time when the passport expires. If your passport expiration is within 6 months, apply for ESTA after the renewal of the passport.
As of May 2021, APC kiosks have been installed at 43 airports including Honolulu airport in Hawaii.
UPDATE : 2021/05/31