Want to Visit the US? That'll Be $14, Please

Starting today, tourists from 36 countries charged fee
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2010 8:11 AM CDT
A pilot and a passenger disembark from a plane in this file photo.   (Michelle McLoughlin /AP Images for GE Aviation)

(Newser) – Starting today, visitors to the US will be required to pay what some are calling a “tourist tax.” Anyone entering the US without a visa will have to pay a whopping $14 to do so, Yahoo reports. The EU lamented this unbearable burden yesterday, calling it “inconsistent with the commitment of the US to facilitate transatlantic mobility.”

The fee applies to visitors from the 36, predominantly European, countries that participate in Custom and Border Protection’s visa-waiver program, the New York Times explains. Visitors from those countries don’t need a visa—which can cost more than $100—but since last year they’ve had to fill out an online form, so they can be checked against terrorism databases. Now that form carries a $14 processing fee—which ironically enough will mostly be spent on tourism promotion.

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