UK travellers are being urged to apply for visa waiver programs before a $15 charge is induced, US authorities confirmed today. The decision to charge visitors using the Visa Waiver Program was passed in Congress in March and will soon force foreign nationals to pay the fee when they apply online via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). “The law says the US must implement the fee in six months which means they have four months left. It will probably come in after the summer peak,” explained Visit USA Association Chair Kate Burgess. “It will be $15 as $10 will go towards the Travel Promotion Fund and the extra $5 will be needed to cover credit card costs and adminstration fees”. Burgess said this would be good for the travel trade as it would put more money into the tourism sector. “The money going into the fund shows the UK that USA is doing more activity to raise funds in its travel and tourism sector,” added Burgess. Approved applications for the Visa Waiver Program are currently free and allow entry to the US for two years. More information and a link to the ESTA form can be found at www.visitusa.org.uk .