For those of you who utilise the United States of America “Electronic System for Travel Authorisation” or ESTA, there’s bad news – prices are heading up from US$14 to US$21
Welcome to the USA – Now $21 for 2 years
The price change goes into effect from the 26th of May.
Needless to say, if you are planning to the USA for travel in the near future – it would be advisable to submit your ESTA soon, or else, you’ll be paying the new prices
The “ESTA travel promotion fee” will be increased from $10 to $17 and a $4 operational fee. The US Customs and Border Patrol will collect the new fee amount on 26th May 2022.
For those who live in the USA and wondering what this is about, ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by air, land, or sea.
The Visa Waiver Programme enables eligible nationals of 40 countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa if they have an approved ESTA.
It goes without saying, it’s easiest to apply directly at the ESTA site at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ and do at least 72 hours before you plan to travel. Whilst authorisations may be quicker, the system can take its time sometimes
The reasons listed include two acts – the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123), which extended the ESTA fee to 2027, and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (PL 116-94). No other reasons were given.
Act now if you want to skip the increase
Whilst it might be a $7 rise, it’s still $7 that is heading out of your pocket into someone else’s.
If your travel plans involve visiting the United States of America in the next 12 months, it could well be worth pocketing the saving now and updating your ESTA – least of all, I suspect a lot has lapsed during the pandemic.
If you renew tomorrow or after the 26th of May, it’s just another fee to add to the list when travelling.