UK nationals went on 71.7 million international trips in 2018 and a record number of 3.47 million of them visited the US, say statistics published by Finder. Therefore, it might be safe to say that America remains one of the top holiday destinations for the British.
Brand USA now advertises the country as a “fresh and unexpected destination.” CEO Christopher Thompson went on to declare that the US is expecting close to 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021.
America is an extremely friendly nation, always extending a warm welcome to millions of international visitors every year.
Do UK Citizens Need a US Visa?
To step onto American soil, UK nationals will first have to apply for an ESTA, or the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The United Kingdom is one of the 38 countries that are part of the US Visa Waiver Program. Therefore, you are not required to apply for a visa to travel to the US. You can travel to America for the purposes of tourism or business, without needing to apply for a regular visa and can stay for 90 days at a stretch with an ESTA.
Visa Fees and Exceptions for Non-Immigrants from the UK
If you reside in the UK but are not a citizen, you will be required to pay a non-refundable visa fee of $160. However, petition-based applicants need to pay $190 while the fee for E-1, E-2, and E-3 visa applicants is $205. Apart from this, some applicants are exempt from needing to pay the visa fee, if they fall under the following categories:
- Diplomatic passport holders
- Official passport holders, applying for an official visa
- Employees connected with international organizations (G Visas)
- Any foreign military personnel is posted in the United States (NATO Visas)
- Exchange visitors sponsored by the US government (J Visas)
Remember that you need to pay the visa fee at the time of scheduling your visa interview. Payment can be done via debit cards only. The US Embassy does not accept credit cards or personal checks, under any circumstances. Also, if you are an L-2 or E-2 visa holder, you need to pay a certain insurance fee as well.
ESTA Application and Cost for Immigrants from the UK
If you are a UK citizen, all you have to do is apply for the ESTA, at least 72 hours before your intended date of travel. Once you’ve applied, note down the application number. This will help you track the application status. The ESTA costs $14, if you are paying directly via the ESTA website.
However, if your entry to the United States is denied, you will have to pay only $4. This can only be paid via credit card.
However, although the UK is a part of the Visa Waiver Program, security measures to prevent intended terrorist attacks demand pre-screening of tourists before they enter the US.