United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and Visas

ARCO has recently become aware of retired officers encountering problems in obtaining permission to enter the United States as a consequence of having served in countries currently on the US list of restricted countries, whilst in service with the Defence Forces. In some cases this has resulted in considerable personal expense in having to reschedule flights etc.

It would appear that the problem is more widespread than initially thought and affects officers currently serving and those who retired in recent years. This includes Visa for entry as well as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) online facility operated by the US.

In response, the Commissioned Officers Management Office (COMO) issues a certified letter of service to serving officers when required and will extend this service to affected retired officers on request. ARCO is informed that this arrangement has proven satisfactory in obtaining US visas.

ARCO members are advised to make themselves aware of US entry requirements, as well as those countries currently on the US Restricted list, in good time prior to travel and if affected to apply for a certified letter of service to accompany the Visa application from COMO at the following address:

Commissioned Officers Management Office
Department of Defence
Station Road 
Newbridge
Co Kildare
W12 AD93
Tel 045 492540

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