The U.K. Will Soon Require an Application Fee Prior to Travel

The U.K. will soon require everyone wishing to travel to the country to apply for permission, and pay for an application, in order to travel to the country.

Starting sometime by the end of 2023, the U.K. says it will put an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system in place for all inbound international travelers outside of Britain and Ireland. The system will require travelers to put personal details, including passport information, into an application and then pay a small fee to be authorized for travel. The goal is to screen visitors before they arrive in the U.K.

Airlines will be tasked with checking that all passengers have been approved prior to travel. Otherwise, they could be liable for a penalty charge.

According to the U.K., the ETA will be valid for at least two years, allowing travelers to use it for multiple trips. And while its cost has yet to be revealed, the expectation is that it will be a small fee, similar to what other countries charge for their own pre-travel authorization systems.

The plan is reportedly to first roll out the ETA to some Gulf countries before expanding it internationally. While there is no exact date of when it will include the U.S. and Canada, the expectation is that it will happen sometime later in 2023.