Recent changes made by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the regulations for the US visa, implies that Brits who want to visit the US would no longer be able to apply for and get their ESTA on the spot.   These changes apply to both business travelers and tourists from Britain who want to travel to the US. They will now be needed to apply for their ESTA via an automated system that first scrutinizes the applicants and weighs their eligibility as prescribed by the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA was introduced in 2007 and presently costs $14 which is equivalent to about £11. With an ESTA, a visitor in the US can stay for up to 90 days in the country either for work or pleasure throughout two years. According to the Daily Telegraph, applications for the ESTA are approved instantly online. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see travelers on a queue at airport check-in desks, hurriedly filling out their ESTA forms on their phones. With the new changes, the DHS no longer tolerates such instant applications and approvals. Tourists are now required to fill out their forms at least 72 hours before the desired date of travel. The Agency of US Customs and Border Protection has issued warnings to potential travelers and tourists to the US that any travelers to the US who arrive at the airport without an already-approved ESTA will likely not be allowed to board.

There are 37 other countries affected

Apart from British citizens, citizens of 37 different nations and territories are also affected by these rules. Some of these countries include Germany, Australia, France, and New Zealand. The DHS further warns that having a valid ESTA does not mean automatic admission to the US. Travelers to the US will be inspected by an officer of the Customs and Border Protection, at their various ports of entry which will determine that they are admissible. Stay connected to Visa Time to get updates about visa news from Asia, Africa, US, Americas, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East! We will also assist you with the visa process for the chosen country.

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