US bound

Brenda, an AboutSeniors subscriber, is lucky enough to be heading off to Hawaii soon but she doesn’t want to get caught out by the changes to US immigration.

Q. Brenda
I hope you can help me. Two friends and I are booked to travel to Hawaii for two weeks from the 20 February, 2009.

I read somewhere that since 1 January, 2009 travellers to the USA now need to get a number before they can travel. This is supposed to be free of charge.

However looking on the web, and I caught a representative from the US Embassy speaking on Channel 7 news last night saying it was best to apply on line, I find that there is a charge of $49.00.

This was advertised by a company called ESTA.us, an independent U.S. Travel Authorisation Service Provider.

How it is possible to get the supposedly free number, I do not know. Can you help please?

A. Answered by Drew
Hi Brenda,

I recently traveled to America myself and did the “beta test” so to speak.
I have checked the web and found this link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html

It came off the US. Customers and Border protection website here: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/

I believe this is the correct link for you, and is free!
To find out more information about traveling overseas, visit the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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