Until recently, entry into the U.S. didn’t cost any more money once you arrived at your destination, now a change has occurred. Those traveling from Visa Waiver countries may still not have to have a visa, but they will have to produce a few bucks, 14 to be exact. Introduced by the Department of Homeland Security, the new ESTA program requires a pre-travel authorization charge in order to enter the U.S. So what does this mean and how does it affect you? Travel with Tradewinds Travel Club as we look closer at this new fee, what it means for the U.S. as well as Visa Waiver countries.
Tradewinds Travel Club Looks Closer At ESTA
Esta stands for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. International travelers who are entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program are now required to pay an administrative fee. Application is simple however. Complete the application, submit it, pay the 14 dollars and you are done. In order to apply travelers must have the following:
- Valid Passport
- Credit Card
Those countries who are able to participate in the Visa Waiver program include:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand Norway
- Republic of Malta
- San Marino
- Slovakia Slovenia
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
Yes, another fee, and this one to enter the country, but the U. S.authorities believe that it is in our best interest as the funds collected from this fee are slated to go to fund a tourist information service throughout the U.S. which as of yet, is not available. The upside to this fee, is once travelers pay it, their Waiver is good for 2 years without any payment despite the number of times the country is entered and exited.
Though this may not have an impact on U.S. travelers as the fee does not apply to citizens of the U.S, it may impact the travelers entering the U.S. and this is where the concern lies. If other countries not charging fees to enter see the U.S. charging, will they slap a tax on us as we enter their countries? The jury is out on this new fee and how it will impact tourism as a whole.
Tradewinds Travel Club
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