US authorities will be introducing a $14 fee for British tourists visiting the country though their ESTA visa scheme.
The visa waiver scheme allows nationals from a selection of countries, including Britain, to enter the US without a visa. The ESTA has been mandatory for visa waiver travellerssince January 2009, and has been a free service. The move toward a paid system is currently going through Congress and is due to begin on the 8th September, from when the $14 fee will be applied.
There have been 20 million ESTAs apllications to date, with around 25% of them British tourists.
Due to the change in legislation the US Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Brits who are considering a trip to the US to apply for their ESTAs now as they are valid for two years.
For clear instructions for British passengers check out the ESTA application form.
Written by Stephen Adam