U.K. to Introduce ETAs by The Middle of November – How Are Travellers Impacted? - The Redditch Standard

U.K. to Introduce ETAs by The Middle of November – How Are Travellers Impacted?

Redditch Editorial 26th Sep, 2023   0

The United Kingdom government has recently disclosed the release of an Electronic Travel Authorisation, shortly put – ETA, for anyone interested in entering the country for a short stay. This new regulatory framework aims to strengthen citizens’ security and safety, better monitor who enters and leaves the country and gain additional knowledge of their profiles and motives for visiting. The newly released rules will assist in detecting malicious visitors who may pose a threat and preventing them from entering the country. This is expected to make travelling a safer experience for legitimate visitors and is part of the government’s plan to digitalize borders completely by 2025.

Anyone except Irish and British nationals looking to enter the land of the United Kingdom must apply and attain an Electronic Travel Authorisation – similar to a new British Visa. The newly disclosed decision is expected to be concluded by the end of November 15 and is only applicable starting with February 1 of next year. According to the new rules, this is a mandatory document for anyone who doesn’t need a visa to travel to the country. Babies and children are also concerned.

But what does it mean for those who are in transit or have already planned a trip to the U.K., and how does it affect the U.K. travel scene? Keep reading to find out more.

Photo source: https://unsplash.com/photos/DpwWav9DhKk

What is an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)?

An ETA is, in essence, a permit required for anyone who is not a citizen of the United Kingdom or Ireland or who does not have a valid visa to enter the nation to be able to pass its borders. According to the statements of the representatives of the U.K. government, this document will be required for travellers transiting the country’s borders without getting through border control, visiting friends or family, going there for study or business purposes, or relocating to the country for up to three months for a part-time job under the Creative Worker visa concession.

The ETA is digitally linked to travellers’ passports. Therefore, those lacking valid visas might not be able to board without having one, as the U.K. Home Office states.

How to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation?

First things first, there’s no need to file for an ETA yet. You can travel to the U.K., leave your car at Manchester airport parking, or transit the borders without stressing about having an ETA. The policy will be enforced starting with 15 November of the year, and you can file for it starting with 25 October. Additionally, an ETA isn’t obligatory if you have a visa for the U.K., permission to study, work, or live in the country, or an Irish or British passport.

However, suppose you lack the required evidence and prepare to cross the country’s border after the new regulations go into effect. In that case, you must be ready with a legitimate passport from an eligible country, a valid email address, and a credit or debit card to pay for the visa’s costs.

You can submit applications for yourself or on behalf of others simply by accessing the UK ETA application or the online portal at GOV.UK. This means you can obtain permits for your family members, friends, or those who find the process complicated. This greatly benefits older adults or those lacking internet access. Once the submission is obtained, your ETA’s validity will last up to 2 years. You’ll be allowed to visit the country multiple times without reapplying for the document and be granted permission to visit England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

ETAs aren’t necessarily granted to every applicant. In case your ETA submission is denied, you will need other permits to enter the country:

  • Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa
  • Standard Visitor visa
  • Transit visa.

What’s the government’s stance?

According to the U.K. government, the new rules are designed to improve border security by permitting authorities to gather more information about who is entering or transiting the nation. This will limit access to ill-intended travellers who may constitute a threat.

Government representatives communicate that the new program resembles the ESTA in the United States. The ESTA application is obligatory for anyone who doesn’t have a visa to cross the country’s borders. ETA will be similar to the U.S.’s ESTA to check airport visitors. However, there’s a difference. Passengers who continue their trip abroad and arrive at Heathrow, for instance, won’t be verified by the U.K. Border Force.

Heathrow is one of the most agglomerated airports in the U.K., with the most significant number of passengers using parking Heathrow for different purposes. Passengers in transit represent a valuable tool for tourism, trade, and investment opportunities as they strongly contribute to a highly dynamic environment.

What happens with transit travellers?

Around a third of travellers visiting the U.K. and using Heathrow are in transit. The fact that an ETA will be required to transit the country may push many travellers who have additional routings available to avoid connections with the U.K. in order to reduce the duration of transport and cost. Where it is possible, travellers will choose other hubs. For instance, it’s not necessary to transit to the U.K. in order to get from the U.S. to Croatia.

The new regulations are anticipated to cause the most significant harm to U.K. airports, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways. A family of four would have to pay £40 to transit to the U.K. because each document issuance costs £10. The price will stay the same for the following two years and equate to around $12,65 USD or $16,80 CAD, at the moment of press.

The airlines will be responsible for verifying that every traveller entering the country has been previously granted permission to do so.

This is a submitted article


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