Travelling on a Visa Waiver: Fees and Basics

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 If you’ve applied through ESTA for travel visas, you may already know that you will be subject to fees. For those who are at any stage of planning, it’s important to understand exactly what fees will be required to apply through ESTA and enter the United States. In addition to the fees associated with applying for a waiver, you must also be prepared to prove solvency and pay for a passport and travel fees. This short guide will help you to prepare.

 

The First Step: Getting a Passport

 

Even if you will be applying through ESTA for the Visa Waiver, you still can’t travel without a passport. You’ll still need an e-passport, if you are travelling from anywhere in the United Kingdom. All passports are now e-passports in the United Kingdom. Fees are as follows:

  • Standard passport for people over the age of 16 – £72.50 online, £81.25 by post
  • Under the age of 16 – £46.00 online and £54.75 by post
  • Extended passports of 48 pages for ages 16 and up – £85.50 online, £94.25 by post

 

Interestingly, there is no fees associated with passports for those born prior to September, 1929.

 

Fees to Apply for the Visa Waiver Program Through ESTA

 

There are two different circumstances for applying through ESTA; you may be self-applying, or a travel agent may be applying for you. Any fees assigned by the travel agent are separate, and must be worked out with the agency.

 

If you are self-applying, the usual fee to apply is $4.00 USD. This fee is applied regardless of whether you are approved or not, and is used to process your information. Should you be approved, an additional fee of $10.00 USD is applied. This $10.00 fee is for approval only, so if you happen to be denied for any reason, it will be waived.

 

Proving Financial Solvency: What it Means

 

When you apply for ESTA, you may be required to prove financial solvency. What this means is that you will be asked to provide proof that you can afford to travel to the USA, and then return home; it also means that you will be required to prove that you can afford costs while in the country.

 

If you are asked for further details on your financial solvency, it usually occurs on the US side rather than during the ESTA application. Bring your last three banking statements, and any current credit cards that have room on them for charges with you when you travel. Also ensure that you always purchase a return ticket, rather than two one-way tickets.

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