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Pay your way to the USA

Most of the time, we have to worry about whether we will actually be granted entry into America - well, those of us with a slightly shady past perhaps - but now UK citizens are being asked to pay for the privilege of applying for this permission, the Daily Mail reports.

Having previously used the States' Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta) for free, British holiday-makers and commuters alike will have to pay $14 (£9) to use the compulsory system from the 8 September this year.

The form takes 72 hours to be approved and is a necessary formal step that citizens in the UK and thirty-five other nations, who belong to the US' Visa Waiver Program, must fill in online to be granted entry into the United States.

Reception of the new fee has been mixed, with many finance experts warning Joe Public to apply for permission to enter the States via the website now - while it is still free - as approval received via the site is valid for up to two years.

One EU commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, has criticised the fee's introduction, saying it would 'complicate travel' across the pond.

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