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Heading to the States? Your ESTA will now cost 50% more

From 26 May, the fee for travellers intending to visit the United States with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be increased from USD$14 (AUD$20) to USD$21 (AUD$30).

From 26 May, the fee for travellers intending to visit the United States with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be increased from USD$14 (AUD$20) to USD$21 (AUD$30).

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced the cost of an ESTA, including the operator fee, will increase by 50% to USD$21 (AUD$30) from 26 May and will apply until September 2027.

The ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by air, land, or sea.

The VWP enables eligible nationals of 40 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa if they have an approved ESTA.

Travellers with a recently approved ESTA do not have to re-apply, as an ESTA is valid for up to two years.

New York
Times Square, Manhattan, New York City.

Between 2016 and 2019, there were approximately 15 million applications per year for ESTAs.

This fell to 6.31 million in 2020 and 1.26 million in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The extra money raised through ESTA is set to go to the USA’s Travel Promotion Act (TPA) to help aid the country in its #ArrivalRevival.

If it’s successful, the ESTA could be reduced significantly from October 2027.

To apply for an ESTA visit esta.cbp.dhs.gov