I’m travelling overland around the World and will be entering the USA from Japan in August. I have a valid ESTA but no “onward ticket” out of the USA as of yet. I was hoping to look at ferries home to the UK whilst in the USA.
Is it a mandatory requirement that I have proof of onward travel before entering the US?
If so, now I also have to research this and rush into making a decision.
If you are a UK citizen then you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. One of the requirements for this is that you can prove you have a return ticket and enough money to support yourself while you are in the country (around $300–400 a week is about right). Immigration is pretty strict and while you will sometimes be just waived straight through, it’s likely that you’re going to get questioned about your plans.
If you are pushed for time, one option might be to purchase a fully refundable plane ticket for your return, and then cancel it once you have purchased your ferry ticket.
Another thing that immigration officials might question you about is your accommodation – you’ll be asked for a US address – it’s fine to use the name of the hotel you plan to stay in for the first night or two. Just make sure you have one booked!