Fraud alert: unauthorized web sites charging for free Visa Waiver Program information

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Beginning January 12, 2009, all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be required by law to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States under the VWP. This authorization may be obtained online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a free Internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through a U.S. government web site: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html?_flowExecutionKey=_c8C558939-EB36-4CA4-67B0-DA65C1C6E88F_k1A7DCEA2-B73F-E834-E987-103679FF3187 .

DHS does not charge VWP travelers a fee for completion of an ESTA application. Eligible visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the VWP may apply for travel authorization via the ESTA web site: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html?_flowExecutionKey=_cC255C380-1F0B-E53D-599F-D70F437AB113_kE5B935A5-FAF9-F004-EE1C-78FA0513C9DA .

VWP travelers should be aware that unauthorized third-parties have established web sites, which charge visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the VWP for information about ESTA and for submitting ESTA applications to DHS on behalf of the traveler. These businesses and web sites are not endorsed by, associated with, or affiliated in any way with DHS or the US government.

Again, the US government does not charge a fee to obtain information about, apply for, or obtain a travel authorization through the ESTA web site. Use of a private service to apply for travel authorization via ESTA will not expedite the granting of approval.

The ESTA application web site is available in 16 languages and includes a help section that provides additional information for VWP travelers to guide them through the application process. Additional information about ESTA may be found at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/ .