do uk citizens pay for esta


As a UK citizen, you may be wondering if you need to pay for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) when traveling to the United States. Well, the answer is yes, UK citizens do need to pay for an ESTA in order to visit the US.

What is ESTA?

ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). It is an online application that takes only a few minutes to complete and is usually approved instantly.

How much does ESTA cost for UK citizens?

The cost of an ESTA for UK citizens is $14 per application. This fee is charged by the US government for processing your application and is non-refundable, even if your application is denied.

How long is an ESTA valid for UK citizens?

An approved ESTA is valid for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. During this period, you can travel to the United States multiple times without needing to reapply for an ESTA.

Do UK citizens need ESTA for transit through the US?

If you are only transiting through the United States on your way to another country, you still need to apply for an ESTA. This applies even if you are not leaving the airport during your layover.

Can UK citizens apply for ESTA on arrival?

No, UK citizens cannot apply for an ESTA upon arrival in the United States. You must apply for and receive approval for your ESTA before boarding your flight to the US.

What happens if a UK citizen travels to the US without an ESTA?

If you travel to the United States without an approved ESTA, you will not be allowed to board your flight. It is essential to apply for an ESTA well in advance of your travel dates to avoid any issues.

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Is there a difference in the ESTA process for UK citizens?

The ESTA process is the same for citizens of all countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, including the UK. However, it is crucial to ensure that you meet all the requirements and provide accurate information to avoid any complications.


In conclusion, UK citizens do need to pay for an ESTA when traveling to the United States. It is a straightforward process that can be completed online, but it is essential to do so well before your travel dates to ensure a smooth journey.


1. Can I apply for an ESTA if my passport is expiring soon?

If your passport will expire within the two-year validity period of the ESTA, you will need to apply for a new ESTA with your new passport information.

2. Do children need an ESTA when traveling with UK citizens to the US?

Yes, all travelers, including children, need to have an approved ESTA before traveling to the United States.

3. What happens if my ESTA is denied?

If your ESTA application is denied, you will need to apply for a visa at the nearest US embassy or consulate to travel to the United States.

4. Can I use the same ESTA for multiple trips to the US?

Yes, as long as your ESTA is valid, you can use it for multiple trips to the US within the two-year period.

5. How soon before my trip should I apply for an ESTA?

It is recommended to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure to the US to allow for processing time.