The UK Is Implementing a Fee and Application Process for US Visitors

The UK ETA will be an online form and fee for almost all travelers by 2024.

A view from an airport, in London, United Kingdom on January 05, 2023. Foreign visitors will soon need to fill out an online form and pay a fee to enter the UK.
Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

It will cost you a bit of time and money if you want to visit London. Per Executive Traveller, the UK is adopting an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) program, which will require most travelers to submit a form and pay a small entry fee before they arrive.

It thankfully doesn’t seem that complicated. Visitors will fill out an online application form with information such as contact information, biometric data, travel plans and some eligibility questions. If the application is successful, flyers will be notified 48-72 hours before arrival.

Besides raising a bit of cash (hooray, more fees!) and upping security, one idea here is that filling out forms and getting approval in advance can speed up the security system for passengers when they arrive.

For U.S. travelers, it’ll be at least Q2 or later before this application will be required, although the system should be in place for all visitors by 2024. Citizens of the European Union (EU), Australia and New Zealand will also be part of this ETA process, which does not replace a visa (which is for stays longer than six months).

We should note that this isn’t different from many other countries; currently, U.S. citizens do not need to fill anything out or pay anything to travel to the UK (besides having a valid passport). But Canada and the U.S. already have variations on these fee-based visa waivers and the European Union’s new version is arriving this fall. There’s no word yet on the ETA cost (probably between $10-$20), which should be good for a few years once you go through the process.


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