Travelling to the US can be complicated. Firstly, it may be possible to apply for an ESTA visa waiver, which is available to citizens of 28 countries for trips up to 90 days. For longer trips or for citizens not included in the ESTA program, it may be necessary to apply for a visa, in which case a social media security check may be required.
It is important to know which travel documents you need to travel to the USA. It is also important to understand some acronyms and jargon which are used within the US security screening procedures, and used by airlines. Here are some FAQs on the DHS TRIP, redress numbers, TSA pre checks, and Known Traveler Numbers (KPNs)…
The DHS TRIP stands for the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program. It is for travelers who have been repeatedly identified for additional security screening, who want to avoid it happening again. Applicants are given a number, known as a redress number.
A redress number is a seven digit number given to people who have applied for the Department of Homeland Security Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). The DHS TRIP program
The redress number is optional and not relevant for most travelers. Not everyone has one and if you are asked for a redress number for travel purposes (when filling out a form for example), you can leave it blank. You can still travel as normal, and make reservations, without a US redress number. You may want to apply for one if you feel you have been subjected to unfair security screening when traveling.
No-one needs to, it is optional. However, the system is designed to help travelers who feel they have been unfairly treated during security screening procedures at ports of entry. It may be that the traveler was unfairly or incorrectly delayed or denied boarding. The system aims to welcome legitimate travelers while securing US borders.
When making reservations with airlines, or updating your airline profile. The redress number aims to help passengers who have been misidentified in the past, by allowing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to match travelers with the results of their redress case.
The TSA pre check is different from the DHS TRIP (for which you need the redress number). The TSA pre check allows low-risk passengers to take advantage of expedited customs processing at participating US airports, where there are separate queuing lanes, designed to be quicker. To use the TSA pre check, passengers need a Known Traveler Number (KTN), also called a Trusted Traveler Number. The KTN is issued by the TSA and shows that the person has undergone a pre-flight background check before checking in for a flight.
It is now necessary to have KTN or a redress number to apply for an ESTA visa waiver to travel to the US.