Saturday 3 December 2016

Visitors face new $14 charge to enter the US

Published 08/08/2010 | 05:00

Visitors from Ireland and 35 other nations travelling to the United States will have to pay about €10.50 ($14) to apply for permission to enter the country from next month.

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The fee is being levied for all passengers using the compulsory Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta), the online approval sch- eme that will eventually re- place green visa-waiver forms.

Prospective visitors must pay a $14 fee from September 8, part of which will go to a fund to promote tourism.

Esta applies to nationals of the 36 countries, mostly Western states, who are able to enter the US as tourists without a full travel visa.

Visitors to the US who need a full visa pay a fee starting from $140, depending on the nature of their trip.

An approval from Esta is valid for two years and can be used for repeated visits.

One consumer expert has urged anyone considering a trip to the US to apply for a form now in order to avoid the charge.

He said: "The security authorisation lasts for two years, so do it now and it'll be free if you travel in that time. Yet leave it for a month and you'll have to pay for it."

Sunday Independent

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