A Tourist Tax

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Have friends visiting from abroad? Tell them to have their paperwork in order to avoid a new tourist tax.

Starting this week travelers trying to enter the United States will need to pay a $14 fee if they do not have a U.S. visa. Called an operational and promotional fee, this will only affect travelers trying to enter the U.S. from certain countries. These countries include but are not limited too; Australia, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Korea and the United Kingdom.

Since January of 2009 travelers from these nations are required to fill out an online form and receive permission from the electronic system for travel authorization to enter the U.S. the program gives Homeland Security extra time and resources to check traveler’s names against no fly lists and other terrorist databases.

The $14 fee will now accompany the registration process, and the extra cost is being heavily criticized by the European Union as “inconsistent with the commitment of the U.S. to facilitate transatlantic mobility.” So spread the word to any future houseguests and make sure they appreciate their stay. Who knew a vacation could be so much work?

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