Help from Fodorites for USA Visa Waiver thingie

Nov 22nd, 2009, 02:45 PM
  #1  
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Help from Fodorites for USA Visa Waiver thingie

I went to the USA earlier this year and filled in the Visa Waiver application, which didn't cost anything but DH and I are going again in February and I wanted to get his but can only find applications on line that cost $49.50. I am "sure"that it didn't cost me anything in May this year and want to know from anyone else who has been to the US recently where they got theirs from.
I am aware that you can go through an agency and it does cost using that service but as it takes only 5 minutes and is not supposed to cost anything, can anyone help me out?
Thanks in advance
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 03:00 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi I,

This piqued my curiosity as I am hoping to go to the US in March - I've copied this for you and clearly states NO CHARGE! It's from the US Embassy in Canberra website.

All nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries, including Australia, are required to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States. This requirement commenced January 12, 2009. Authorization may be obtained online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a free Internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security.

There is no charge to complete the ESTA application. VWP travelers should be aware that unauthorized third-parties have established websites, which charge visitors for information and for submitting ESTA applications. These websites are not endorsed by, associated with, nor affiliated in any way with the U.S. government.

I think that answers your question (and mine)
stormbird is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:45 PM
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Stormbird is correct (of course!). Go to the ETSA website and do your thing there. I did ours this way earlier in the year. It is very simple.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 09:21 PM
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Many thanks guys. I have done the job without having to pay. Isn't it interesting what some people will do to extract money from other unsuspecting people.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 11:00 AM
  #5  
 
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here is the link: http://www.visabureau.com/australia/tourist-visa.aspx
$20.00 takes 10 min.
JoanneH is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 12:45 PM
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JoanneH, your site looks to be exactly what your Department of Homeland Security is warning about when it says (as per stormbird's post):

(Emphasis is mine)

"There is NO CHARGE to complete the ESTA application. VWP travelers should be aware that UNAUTHORIZED THIRD-PARTIES have established websites, WHICH CHARGE VISITORS for information and for submitting ESTA applications. These websites are not endorsed by, associated with, nor affiliated in any way with the U.S. government."

In summary, the site you cite is NOT the one that intending travellers to the USA should be using.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 01:02 PM
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There's a bit of a muddle here, Ivenot is asking about going to the US, whereas I think Joanne's link is to apply for an Australian visa, hence the charge.
Susan7 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 04:11 PM
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Susan, re-reading, I see you're right.

But then, I think the same appplies in reverse, Americans and others being able to procure an Australian electronic travel authority via the official Australian government site and pay nothing - or pay $20 to a third party.

On the face of it these third-party sites deliver no added value and so are simply scams.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Your right I it appears misread your request. The site I sent is to obtain a Australian Visa. There is a fee for the Australian visa from their gov. site.
JoanneH is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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And I was wrong about the fee - the Australian government does charge for an ETA (www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAAus4En.html). Given that the fee is the same ($20) I'd still use the official site.
Neil_Oz is offline  
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