Since January 2009, nonimmigrants from 36 designated countries who wish to enter the United States as visitors under the Visa Waiver Program must obtain travel authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), operated by the Department of Homeland Security, before departing for the United States. Effective September 8, 2010, VWP travelers must pay a fee of $14.00 when applying for ESTA clearance, payable by credit card.