Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA): Travel Promotion Fee and Fee for Use of the System
GAO-10-1010R: Aug 20, 2010
GAO reviewed the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (Customs) new rule on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). GAO found that (1) nonimmigrant aliens who wish to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program at air or sea ports of entry must obtain a travel authorization electronically through ESTA from Customs. The interim final rule requires ESTA applicants to pay a congressionally mandated fee of $14.00. The fee is the sum of two amounts: a $10.00 travel promotion fee set by statute and a $4.00 operational fee for the use of ESTA as set by the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure recovery of the full costs of providing and administering the ESTA system; and (2) the Department of Homeland Security complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.