US citizens will soon have to apply for a permit in advance of their trips to the UK and pay a small fee to enter as part of the country’s upcoming electronic travel authorization scheme.
The ETA scheme is meant to secure UK borders by giving them more accurate data on who is passing through, according to a UK official for the British Consulate General. The move is part of the UK’s plan to fully digitize its borders by 2025.
“The scheme will give the UK more control of our borders, allowing us to block threats from entering the UK, while giving people and carriers more assurance at an earlier time about their ability to travel. to the UK”. according to UK government website.
The scheme is scheduled to be fully implemented by the end of 2023, the “permission to travel” requirement it will apply to travelers visiting or transiting through the UK without a visa or special immigration status, including visa-free nationalities such as the US. However, getting permission to travel via ETA is not a regular visa.
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Other countries already have an ETA process. In 2022, the US implemented the requirement for certain visitors, which costs them $21. The European Union is also looking to create an ETA.
Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming UK ETA scheme.
How will the ETA process work?
The new scheme should not be too heavy a burden for your trip planning. The application process is expected to be quick and easy, according to officials.
He application process for the ETA can be done online in a few minutes. Travelers should ensure they finish the process “a few days before (their) departure to the UK”.
The typical process time for approval will be between 48 and 72 hours. Any errors in your application could delay your processing time or result in a rejection.
Once approved, you will be able to stay in the UK for business or tourism purposes for up to six months. Short-term study and medical treatment are also valid purposes for an ETA.
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To whom will the ETA apply?
visa-free nationals you will need to apply for the ETA. The confirmed list of countries will be announced at a later date, but is expected to include:
- The European Union
- Other European countries such as Norway, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Vatican City and Monaco
- Visa exempt countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States
How much will the ETA cost?
According to officials, the fee will be small but the exact cost not yet announced.
How long will the ETA be valid? Do I have to apply for each trip?
The ETA will probably be valid for two years and allow multiple trips to the UK
What happens if I do not apply for the ETA?
Permission will be confirmed prior to travel and carriers will review individuals’ forms, whether a paper or digital document. Showing up without permission to travel may result in a penalty charge.
The Nationality and Borders Bill will also make it an offense if someone uses deception to try to obtain an ETA.
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