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Passports and visas

Make sure you travel with a valid passport and relevant visa so you can have an enjoyable trip.

Nexus card holders

CX888 and CX865/CX889 are not US CBP (Customs and Border Protection) pre-cleared flights, as they operate outside the US pre-clearance facility hours.

Passengers on any of these flights cannot use their Nexus card; they must carry with them their passports instead.


The Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), is mandatory for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air. Travellers must apply the eTA and receive approval prior to boarding their flight to Canada. Exceptions include US citizens and travellers with a valid visa. For more information, visit, Link opens in a new window operated by external parties and may not conform to the same accessibility policies as Cathay Pacific.

The United States

Depending on the purpose of your visit, you may need a visa. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State for full details.

Visa and visa waiver

When travelling to the United States, you are required to present the complete address of stay in the United States at airport custom check-in, as required by the US Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs, and Border Protection.

Visa Waiver Programme

The US Homeland Security has announced that as of 26 October 2006, any passport issued on or after this date by a Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) country must be an e-Passport for VWP travellers to be eligible to enter the United States without a visa.

An e-Passport should have:

  • an integrated computer chip with personal information
  • an international symbol on the cover

Read the section on Digital Photographsfor exceptions to holding an e-Passport where you can still travel without a visa.

For full list of countries participating in the VWP, please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

The US government has suspended the "Transit Without Visa" (TWOV) and the "International-to-International" (ITI) programmes. For more details, please visit the website of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Frequently Asked Questions on ESTA

All citizens of countries under Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), who plan to travel to the US for temporary business or pleasure, will be required to receive an electronic travel authorisation via ESTA prior to boarding a US-bound flight, provided that passengers are holders of machine readable passports, which were issued before 26 October 2005, between 26 October 2005 and 25 October 2006 with a digital photo printed on the data page, or e-Passports issued on or after 26 October 2006. Accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA approval.

No. An approved ESTA is not a visa. It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve as a U.S. visa. Individuals travelling on valid visas are not required to apply for an ESTA.

Not necessarily. An ESTA approval only authorises a traveller under the VWP to board a US-bound flight.

Passengers should submit ESTA applications no less than 72 hours prior to flight departure time. There are three types of responses to an application:

  • Authorisation Approved, which means applicants are authorised to travel to the US
  • Authorisation Pending, which means applicants should check the website for updates within 72 hours for a final response
  • Travel Not Authorised, which means applicants will be referred to  on how to apply for a visa to travel to the US

Each approved ESTA application will be valid for two years; passengers may travel to the US repeatedly within a two-year period without having to apply for another ESTA approval. If passengers have acquired a new passport or have had a change in name or other identifying biographical information, a new application must be submitted.

Passengers must provide data such as name, date of birth, passport information and flight number.

The implementation of ESTA allows the US Department of Homeland Security to eliminate the requirement that VWP travellers complete an I-94W prior to being admitted to the United States. CBP has transitioned to paperless processing for VWP travelers arriving by air or sea who have obtained an ESTA authorisation. Most travellers entering the United States with an approved ESTA will no longer need to fill out the I-94W form, nor will a green I-94W departure card be placed in their passport. 

If an ESTA application is denied and passenger wishes to continue with the trip, he/she will be required to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a US Embassy or Consulate.

There is no guarantee of a next-day appointment with a US Embassy or Consulate. As a result, passengers should apply for an ESTA authorisation far in advance.

Passengers who have been refused admission to the US will not be eligible for ESTA approval and must apply for a visa to travel to the US.

Passenger who has been denied a US visa is not eligible for VWP travel to the US.

Information submitted by applicants through the ESTA website, managed by the US government, will be subject to the same strict privacy provisions and controls that have been established for similar traveller screening programmes.

US Secure Flight Programme

Overflight requirements (Secure Flight Data required on flights)

An overflights refers to a flight that departs outside the United States and transiting the U.S Continental en route to location outside the United States.

Which countries and flight bookings does the Passenger Secure Flight Data requirements apply to?

Flights between Hong Kong and Vancouver, and to Toronto are listed in Overflight Table provided by the Transportation Security Administration of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Flight numbers (between Hong Kong and Vancouver): CX888, CX889, CX838, CX837, regardless of the departure date.

Flight numbers between Hong Kong and Toronto: CX828, CX826, CX829, CX825.

Information required for Secure Flight Programme

Each passenger will be required to provide the following Secure Flight data when booking when booking a flight into, out of, and over the US:

  • Passenger’s full name (as shown on state or government issued identification documents such as a State ID card, driver’s license or passport).
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • *Redress number (if available)

* Those who encounter misidentification are invited to apply for Redress number at to help prevent watch list matching misidentifications in the future. Under the Secure Flight programme, individuals will use the Redress Number in future correspondence with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and when making future travel reservations.

To provide Secure Flight information, please contact your local Cathay Pacific reservations office or travel agent.

You may also provide the Secure Flight data by updating your Travel Document through Manage Booking.

Compliance Date for Aircraft Operator

Aircraft operators are requested to collect and be capable of transmitting the Secure Flight Data to TSA. Cathay Pacific has been in compliance with the rule for flights into and out of the US since October 31, 2009.

The compliance date for Cathay Pacific Airways for the Secure Flight rule extension to Overflights to/from Hong Kong/Toronto is July 2012. Passengers flying between Hong Kong and Toronto, and between Hong Kong and Vancouver are now recommended to provide Secure Flight Data regardless date of travel.

Passengers who fail to comply with the Secure Flight Rule may result in denial of transport or denial of authority to enter the boarding area