Paying for an ESTA
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization allows citizens of countries in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to travel to the United States without the need for a U.S. tourist visa. This electronic travel certificate has become very popular in recent years because it facilitates access to the U.S. territory while enhancing homeland security. The process of obtaining an ESTA is done entirely through the Internet. At the end of the form, you are asked to pay taxes and administrative fees to obtain your ESTA.
How to pay for your ESTA
Payment is made directly online by credit card to validate your ESTA application. Several types of payment cards are available to pay the mandatory fees: Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, Discover®, Diner’s Club, Maestro® or JCB®.
Why do I have to pay for my ESTA?
Since the application is 100% digital, some travelers thought they would get a free ESTA as part of an official ESTA application. In fact, filling out the form is done online and does not require any paperwork or officials.
The mandatory fees to obtain an ESTA have even increased by 50% in 2022.
The price paid by ESTA is reinvested by the U.S. government to :
- Strengthening U.S. Airport Security;
- To carry out the maintenance of the electronic system which manages the ESTA;
- To fund projects promoting tourism to the United States.
The transactions are of course secure and once you have made the payment online, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and another e-mail with your authorization attached. All you have to do is print this authorization, which is valid for two years.
Online payment by credit card is the only way to pay for your ESTA. The process is 100% digital, which allows for a maximum processing time of 72 hours.
To apply for ESTA you can either go to the US Customs website or use a specialized platform adapted to your needs.