The price of an ESTA to visit the US will increase by 50% tomorrow, meaning an additional £22 spend for a family of four crossing the Atlantic
- The fee for visiting the United States as a tourist will increase from $14 to $21 from May 26
- It is the first time since 2015 that the cost of an ESTA has increased from $4 to $14
- The increase will be on top of tourism promotion costs: 80% of the total fee
- U.S. Customs said the increase was “small” compared to the cost of travel
Travelers going to the US will pay an additional $7 (£6) for their ESTA application from May 26th.
The Electronic Travel Authorization System is used by the United States to determine whether inbound tourists are eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
The price will rise from $14 (£11) to $21 (£17) in the short term and 80 per cent of that goes towards advertising costs, meaning inbound holidaymakers will bear the brunt of US tourism promotion.
This means that a family of four can expect to pay an extra $28 or £22 to visit the US – and it costs $84 (£67) overall.
Price increase: The cost of an ESTA, which allows some tourists to travel to the United States without a visa, is now $21 per person
If you have a passport that covers when you will travel to the US and plan to travel within the next two years, you can apply for an ESTA today to avoid the price increase.
Currently, $4 of the ESTA fee is paid to operate the system, while the other $10 is used to promote tourism to the US.
The price change was originally approved in 2019 but suspended during the Covid pandemic.
Beginning May 26, the additional $7 fee will be added to fund more US tourism advertising, making $17 per application.
The US has retained some of the strictest travel requirements for Covid, and continues to require visitors to present a negative test taken no more than a day before their travel date – regardless of vaccination status.
This means travelers will still be expected to pay for private Covid tests, which can net you an extra £20 per person at the lowest price and over £89 for rapid tests.
All in all, this means that a family of four is currently facing expenses of at least £147 to enter the US (persons under the age of 2 do not require a pre-departure Covid test).
But US Customs and Border Protection, which administers the system and collects the fees, said the fee increase is small when you consider the total price of your vacation and travel expenses.
The spokesman said: “Up to $100 million in fee income will go to the Travel Promotion Fund.
‘Because the $7 fee increase is relatively small compared to the cost of travel to the United States, CBP anticipates that the fee increase will not adversely affect travel to the United States.’
There are 40 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. It allows travelers to enter the US without a visa for up to 90 days, and it lasts for two years.
Next year, Europe will introduce its own, similar ESTA system, which will mean a fee for Britons traveling to mainland Europe.
The European Travel Information and Authorization System will be mandatory for travelers and is expected to incur a fee of €7.
When applying for an ESTA, it is important to use the official US Customs and Border Protection website.
A search for ESTA online can turn up websites that will charge you a premium for a relatively simple task.
ESTA prices increase by 50% to $21 from May 26th
Source link ESTA prices increase by 50% to $21 from May 26th