If you have plans to visit England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales in the future, do note that you trip is about to get slightly more expensive.
If you may recall, the United Kingdom left the EU a couple of years back, and has now revealed the price tag for its own scheme, the ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), which is around £10 for two years.
As per the latest development, the UK has already announced that starting from 2024, visa-free travellers will be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), which means all visitors (except British and Irish citizens) require permission and pay a fee before entering the country.
However, according to the government, the ETA will permit multiple journeys and remain valid for two years or until the holder’s passport expires, whichever is sooner, and that the cost of it is competitive and comparable with similar international schemes by international partners.
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Reports have it that the process will take around 48 to 72 hours, which will be electronically linked to the passport that travellers apply with. And after this, visitors will be allowed to spend up to 180 days (6 months) in the UK, and also opt to visit any part of the country once the ETA is obtained.
Reportedly, this scheme will launch for Qatari nationals on October 25, 2023, and for citizens of Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia on February 1, 2024. Plus, it will be rolled out to the rest of the world by the end of 2024.
For your information, the United States has been charging visitors for electronic travel authorization since 2009, whereas now the European Union and United Kingdom are also rolling out entry fees.
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