US to charge USD14 (GBP 9) for ESTA entry
Thursday 26, August 2010
From the 8th September 2010, the US are charging USD 14 (approx. GBP 9) to enter the country. The fee is to use the compulsory Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, otherwise known as ESTA.
USD 4 of this is considered an administration fee, whilst the remaining amount is to provide a fund to promote US tourism.
The ‘ESTA’ use has been in place since January 2009, but this is the first time the US has charged to use the compulsory system. Britain are one of 35 nations which are part of the Visa Waiver program which requires visitors to complete the ESTA.
The ESTA is currently free until the 8th of September and lasts for 2 years, so anyone traveling to popular US destinations including New York, Las Vegas and LA or on holidays to Florida should get it before this date before you have to pay!
What is ESTA?
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
International travelers who are seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required obtain travel authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding an air or sea carrier to the United States. Travelers entering by land either from Canada or Mexico are not required to register before traveling.
Travel authorization is obtained through an online registration system. If your registration is successful, it will be valid for multiple applications for two years or until the date on which your passport expires, which ever comes first.
Before going on line to register, you should ensure that you are qualified to travel under the VWP otherwise your registration will be rejected. Please note: Authorization to travel under ESTA does not guarantee entry into the United States; that decision rests with the immigration official at the Port of Entry in the same way that travelers currently entering the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program or with a visa are subject to inspection.
Warning: If your passport has ever been reported lost or stolen to the authorities and then recovered, please do not attempt to use it for travel to the United States. If you input the passport details into ESTA, your application will be denied.
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