Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently updated the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) web-based application system to allow for multiple applications to be submitted and paid for in one transaction. ESTA is an electronic travel authorization that all nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. Prior to the system update, each ESTA application covered only one individual and required separate payment for each individual. The update, which took effect on August 15, 2012, enables groups and families of up to 50 individuals to submit a single application and pay a single fee. The updated application is available here.
The VWP is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and enables eligible nationals of 36 VWP designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.