New regulations to be implemented by the U.S Customs and Border Protection as of September 8th, 2010

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that effective September 8th, 2010 new regulations will be implemented requiring travelers, from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), to pay operational and travel promotion fees amounting to U.S $14.00 when applying for an electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA). The ESTA is a web-based electronic travel authorization that is mandatory for all nationals, of the (VWP) countries, to obtain prior to boarding a carrier upon travelling by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. The VWP is administered by the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and allows nationals of 36 countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or fewer without visa. However, travelers with an approved ESTA prior to September 8th, 2010 will not need to pay the ESTA fees when updating their application. This application must be submitted prior to travel and once approved it is valid for multiple entries into the United States for up to two years even if the applicants’ passport has expired.

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