ESTA Fee For US Travel Applies From Today

As of September 8, travellers to the US from Australia will have pay a $US14 fee to register for the ESTA travel authorisation scheme (which is needed even though most Australians don't require a visa for US travel). We noted this change was coming last month, and now it's a reality.

While it isn't quite September 8 in the US as I write this, your opportunity to apply for a free ESTA to avoid that fee seems pretty minimal — this morning I couldn't get onto the application site, which suggests lots of people are attempting a last-minute money-saving manoeuvre. If you do plan a trip to the US, an ESTA authorisation is essential; if you book travel without one, you'll be refused boarding at the airport.



    I alerted one of my friends last night, after she had just booked a trip for next July. She said it was almost impossible to access the site, and apparently ESTA had started charging already (not sure if she was on the right site.)

    hah, that'd be right - applied for my Travel Application the EXACT day they started charging. Guess I should've been following LifeHacker more closely!

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