New US visa fee for travelers to the US
United States, 14th September: From 15th September onwards, tourists from 36 nations will have to pay compulsory US travel fee for visiting the United States.
The fee is being introduced under the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) scheme.
People wanting to apply for a US ESTA will have to pay a mandatory charge of $14 as tax, the website of the US Customs and Border Protection has clarified. These include travelers hailing from Australia, the UK, France, South Korea and New Zealand who do not need to have US visas for visiting America.
The new US visa fee will require visitors from nations falling under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) to shell out travel promotion and operational fees for making application for ESTA.
Prior to the new ruling for US visas for travelling, visitors to the US were granted authorization free of any charge and were not required to possess a US visa.
While giving the details about the breakdown of the new US visa fee, the website stated that $10 are imposed as tax while the remaining $4 are for recovering cost of the ESTA scheme.
Under the ESTA scheme, travelers from VWP nations are allowed to live, do business and travel in the US for a maximum period of 90 days.
The names of 36 nations falling under VWP included Australia, Austria, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Andorra, Brunei, Belgium, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Slovakia, Japan, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Estonia, Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, Luxembourg, Greece, Monaco, The Netherlands, Germany, Malta, the UK, France, Switzerland, New Zealand and Hungary.
The new fee for travelers to the US was introduced by the US Senate in a bid to reverse the downward trend of visitors to the US in the recent times. Most of the new travelling fees for the US will be spent on promote US as a tourist destination among people.
However, it’s being believed by many critics that the new US travel fee is likely to decrease the number of tourists to the US. As per the findings of the latest online poll in the UK by Telegraph Travel, nearly 44 percent said the new $14 ESTA fee will discourage people to travel to the US.