The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to implement a new Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) on January 12, 2009. ESTA is a new on-line system that is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Currently, travelers from the 27 VWP countries can travel to the United States visa-free for up to 90 days without any registration or notice requirements. Under ESTA, all citizens of VWP countries who plan to travel to the United States for business or tourism using the VWP must receive an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane or cruise ship. (The requirement will not affect U.S. citizens traveling overseas.) ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, although it is recommended that the VWP traveler apply for ESTA travel authorization at least 72 hours before departing for the United States. VWP travelers can apply for ESTA authorization now at Once approved, ESTA travel authorizations will be valid for multiple entries for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever first occurs.