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Passports, visas and insurance

Holiday Information - Passports, Visas & Insurance


Insurance

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Yes. It is a condition of travel with Skiworld that you have adequate ski travel insurance valid from the time of booking to the date of return. Please see our Wintersports Insurance page for more information.

It is essential that all people travelling in your group have adequate insurance that covers all aspects of your ski holiday. It is the responsibility of the group leader to ensure that this is the case for their party members.

Many insurance policies including annual policies that have a ski section do not cover you for costs associated with events such as travel delays or piste closure. It is a condition of booking that you are covered by a comprehensive winter sports insurance policy which covers these eventualities.

Very rarely force majeure situations (such as bad weather or the forecast thereof) can occur and result in a change or, at the very worst, the termination of your holiday before the due date. In the unlikely instance that this does occur we regret that we will not be able to refund any portion of your holiday (unless our suppliers do), pay you any compensation or expenses you incur as a result. You may be able to claim through your own insurance, subject to terms.

It is essential that your insurance covers you for hired equipment. Many service providers offer top-up insurance and we recommend you take this. Details of this will be displayed in the shop and we recommend you read this.

See our wintersports insurance page for advice on the type of cover you'll need for your ski holiday.

Visa and Passport Information

You are responsible for ensuring that you have a full 10 year passport and other documents/visas as required by the country you are visiting and that these are valid for the duration of your trip. The UK passport office recommends that passports are valid for at least 6 months after your return. Non EU or EEA passport holders should note that flights into Geneva leave from the Swiss side and that they may need relevant visas. Information can be obtained from the embassy or consulate of the country or countries you will be visiting.

What are the basics I should know for USA and Canada?

At the time of writing British citizens holding passports issued before 26th October 2005 can continue to use the Visa Waiver Scheme upon entry into the USA.

British citizens do not generally need a visa for Canada or the USA provided that they are travelling on a full, valid, machine-readable passport for a stay of up to 90 days if entering the country on an airline that is a participant in the visa waiver programme. Passports issued between October 2005 and October 2006 must also have a digital photograph and if issued after 25th October 2006 must have an integrated chip in the passport otherwise a visa will be required. The visitor needs to be in possession of a valid onward or return ticket to a destination outside the USA. You will have your photograph and finger prints taken on arrival in the USA.

Children travelling to the USA are required to have their own passport.

British subjects (as opposed to British citizens), those without machine readable passports and most other travellers require a visa. Visitors should make their own enquiries as individual cases differ. The US government no longer issues indefinite visas and have changed the regulations invalidating these after 10 years. Please visit the website or contact the US embassy for the most up to date information: london.usembassy.gov/ or the Canadian High Commission: canadainternational.gc.ca/united_kingdom-royaume_uni.

What do I need for Canada?

eTA Form – Canada:
As of March 2016 travellers to Canada will need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) before they board a flight to Canada.

The eTA is a new entry requirement for foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air in the visa waiver programme. The requirement will allow Canadian authorities to screen travellers before they arrive. The authorisation is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires.

Applying is a simple and quick online process and costs $7CAD. In order to apply you will need a valid passport, a credit card and an email address. The application form will be available on the government of Canada website from 1st August 2015 (www.canada.ca).

Please note that possession of a visa or meeting the requirements of the visa waiver programme including registration with ESTA OR eTA does not guarantee admission to the United States or Canada. As with most countries the final decision is made by immigration officials at the point of entry.

Canadian Embassy
0207 004 6000 - www.canada.org.uk

What do I need for USA?

ESTA Form – USA:
PLEASE NOTE: As of 3rd November 2014 changes were made to the questions in the ESTA application form. This applies to travellers applying for an ESTA from now on and has no impact on travellers who already have an ESTA.

Those guests travelling under the visa waiver programme are now required to register for authorisation to travel via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Applications can be submitted at any time but no later than 72 hours before travel. Failure to do so could result in you being refused boarding and travel. Authorisation is currently valid for 2 years. You must be in possession of a valid passport at the time of registration with ESTA. We recommend that you carry your ESTA approval with you. This form must be completed online and costs approx $20 Find out more via the offical website esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta.

Effective 12th January 2009, all passengers travelling to the United States without a US visa under the terms of the visa waiver programme must obtain pre-authorisation vie the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Applications can be submitted at any time but no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Failure to do so could result in you being refused boarding and travel. Authorisation is valid for 2 years.

For more information and to complete the form go to http://www.cbp.gov/ESTA

If you hold a passport for any other country, then please contact the US Embassy and confirm if a visa is required.

Please also note that to enter the United States you must have a machine readable passport. Please check that your passport has a barcode on the holders’ details page (with the photograph). The old-style black British passport does not have this barcode and you will need to replace this.

Please note that if you have a criminal record, please check with the US Embassy.

For the most up-to-date information, please call:

US Embassy
Main Switchboard 0207 499 9000 – www.usembassy.org.uk

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (London)
020 7008 1500 - www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/

Foreign Travel Advice from gov.uk

Where can I find the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice?

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Travelling to Europe

Where can I find the latest European travel advice?

For further information, please call or visit:
French Embassy
Tel: 020 7073 1200 www.ambafrance.org.uk

Austrian Embassy
Tel: 020 7344 3250 www.austria.org.uk

Swiss Embassy
Tel: 020 7616 6000 www.eda.admin.ch/london

Foreign & Commonwealth Office London
Tel: 020 7008 1500 www.fco.gov.uk/en.travel-and-living-abroad/

Health and Medical

Can you tell me more about health and medical?

All guests should have adequate holiday insurance cover as the European Health Insurance Card (replacement for the E111) only provides limited cover. For more information on the EHIC see www.gov.uk travellers or call 0845 606 2030. Information on free and reduced cost emergency care and medical treatment in most EU countries can be found in the leaflet ‘Health Advice for Travellers’ available from Post Offices, Department of Health Offices, GPs and libraries.

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