The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will introduce a fee for Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA) beginning September 8, 2010. ESTA is an electronic travel authorization that nationals of all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States. This travel authorization has been mandatory since January 12, 2009.
The total registration fee is $14.00 and is comprised of two parts:
- Processing Charge – all applicants requesting an electronic travel authorization are charged $4.00 for the processing of the application.
- Charge determined by Travel Promotion Act (TPA) – if your application is approved and you receive authorization to travel to the United States under the VWP an additional $10.00 will be charged to the credit card. If the electronic travel authorization is denied, only the application processing fee will be charged.
The fee must be paid by credit card at the time of enrollment. Currently, ESTA accepts the following credit and debit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover.
Existing ESTA registrations remain valid for travel through their expiration date or until the passport expiration date if it expires sooner.
Please note: VWP travelers should be aware that there are unauthorized third-parties that charge additional fees for submitting ESTA applications on behalf of a traveler. These third-parties are not endorsed by, or in any way associated with, the United States Government. Use of these services will not result in an expedited ESTA approval. The correct web address to complete an ESTA application is U.S. Custom and Border Protection.
The VWP and ESTA are administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Additional information on these programs is available on the U.S. Custom and Border Protection website. for more information on travel to the United States using ESTA or applying for a visa, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s website.