Effective September 8, a $14 fee will be charged for Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) registration. ESTA registration is mandatory for travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). A $10 ESTA registration fee is required under the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) and will be used to fund initiatives designed to attract more international travelers to the United States. A $4 fee was added to cover ESTA expenses incurred by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in managing the system, resulting in the total fee of $14.
ESTA was made mandatory for VWP travelers in January 2009 (see the November 2008 issue of the Immigration eAuthority). The VWP enables citizens and nationals from 36 countries to travel to and enter the United States for business or visitor purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. ESTA registrations are typically valid for up to two years. Business travelers and tourists who need to obtain or renew an ESTA registration to use the VWP will be subject to the new fee going forward – existing registrations remain valid until expiration.
Visit the CBP website for the ESTA fee announcement and for general ESTA information.