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

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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. (Read more tourism stories.)

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