USA Visa Application Fees: A Guide for UK Citizens Seeking an ESTA

Travel has always been a means of expanding horizons and stitching the cultural fabric that unites nations. For Britons, the allure of the United States as a travel destination is as strong as ever. The US offers an expansive array of experiences, from the bustling streets of New York City to the sun-kissed beaches of California, and the historic landmarks of Washington, D.C. However, before packing your bags to explore the star-spangled skies, understanding the visa or travel authorization requirements is a must. For UK citizens, obtaining a United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a streamlined pathway for visiting the US for tourism, business, or transit purposes.

The ESTA program simplifies the entry process for Britons, as it is a part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Countries that are a part of the VWP enjoy the benefits of visa-free travel to the US for eligible nationals – a privilege that significantly eases short-term travel. Nonetheless, while the ESTA is not a visa, there is still a cost associated with attaining this travel authorization. Let’s delve into the nuances of US visa application fees for Britons and what you need to know when planning your next trip to the United States.

Understanding the ESTA Application Fees

As a British citizen interested in visiting the United States, the process of obtaining an ESTA is an online procedure that requires a certain fee. It’s essential to comprehend what these fees entail and what they are used for. The cost associated with the ESTA is two-fold, encompassing a processing fee and, if the ESTA is approved, an authorization fee. These fees are in place to cover the costs of operating the electronic system and maintaining stringent security measures that safeguard the travel landscape.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect when it comes to ESTA application fees:

  • Processing Fee: This fee is charged for all ESTA applications and is non-refundable, which means it’s required whether your ESTA is approved or denied.
  • Authorization Fee: If your ESTA application is approved, an additional authorization fee is levied. This fee contributes to the US tourism industry’s efforts to ensure safe and secure travel.

Once your application is completed and the fees are paid, applicants can typically expect to receive an email with their travel authorization within 72 hours. It is crucial to keep in mind that these fees are subject to change by the US government and should be confirmed prior to applying for your ESTA.

The ESTA Application Process for UK Citizens

Fulfilling the ESTA application process has been made comfortably straightforward for British citizens. To obtain your travel authorization, you must do the following:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

For those who are part of the VWP, such as the United Kingdom, adjusting plans due to unforeseen last-minute travels is made easier with this less burdensome alternative to the traditional visa application process.

Duration and Validity of the ESTA

An approved ESTA for Britons has a validity period of two years or until the expiry of your passport, whichever comes first. Within these two years, you can embark on multiple trips to the US without the need to reapply for another ESTA, provided each stay does not exceed 90 days. The convenience of this multi-use aspect is why the ESTA is popular among UK travellers who frequently visit the United States for short business trips, vacationing, or transiting to other destinations.

It is also worth noting that changes to your personal data or circumstances may require a fresh application. This includes obtaining a new passport, changes in legal name, gender, citizenship, or instances where your answers to any of the ‘yes or no’ questions on the ESTA form change.

Preparing for Your Journey to the US

Before you embark on your visit to the United States, there are a few pre-travel preparations you should make:

  • Ensure your passport is valid and has at least six months remaining beyond your planned date of departure from the United States.
  • Confirm that your ESTA is approved and up-to-date. It’s a wise idea to print a copy to bring along with your travel documents.
  • Understand the conditions of your ESTA, such as the 90-day maximum stay and ensure your activities in the US align with the permissible reasons for travel under the Visa Waiver Program.

By ensuring that all these aspects are in order before your trip, you can avoid potential issues upon arrival and ensure a more pleasant experience as you navigate through US Immigration and Customs.


For British travellers, the ease of obtaining an ESTA cannot be overstated. With an approved ESTA, the United States is just a transatlantic flight away, and the diverse American landscape awaits. Always plan ahead, and stay informed about the latest application fees and procedures to ensure your journey is as hassle-free as possible. With your travel authorization in hand, the most challenging part may just be deciding which US landmarks to visit first!


How much does the ESTA application fee cost for UK citizens?
The cost includes a processing fee and, in cases where the application is approved, an authorization fee. Make sure to check the current fees at the time of application.

Can I apply for an ESTA if I’m a British citizen with an emergency trip?
Yes, a specific expedited process is available for those needing their travel authorization sooner due to unforeseen travel plans.

Is an ESTA valid for multiple entries?
Yes, an approved ESTA allows for multiple entries into the United States over a period of two years or until your passport expires, whichever is sooner, as long as each visit does not exceed 90 days.

Remember that eVisaUS is here to assist you with your electronic travel authorization needs, ensuring that your focus remains on the excitement of your upcoming adventure, rather than the intricacies of travel documentation. Travel with peace of mind, knowing that your ESTA application is secure and managed professionally.

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