UK to Charge Travellers Entry Fee

London Bridge
London Bridge

Travel to the British Isles is about to get a little more expensive, thanks for a new fee for arriving travellers.

Despite leaving the EU a couple of years ago, the UK is mirroring EU policy in implementing a new fee-based entry system for travellers.  Britain's Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) will cost £10 (about CAD $17).

As Open Jaw reported, the European Commission has set 2024 as the launch date for its upcoming entry system, the the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), pushed back from NOV 2023.

As previously reported by Open Jaw, that system will require visitors from outside the EU to apply for and pay €7 (CAD $10.06) per person for a visa waiver before entering a country in the Schengen zone, which includes France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, among others. The visa permits non-EU citizens to stay in the EU and Schengen zone for 90 days. Once a traveller has had their visa approved, they do not need to apply again for three years.

The UK's ETA is close to double the cost and will last for only two years, making it quite a bit more expensive than the EU version, reports CNN. It will apply to arriving pax from countries who don't require a visa to enter the UK - including Canadians and Americans.

The British program is scheduled to be rolled out by the end of 2024, according to reports, "with the first nation to join the scheme being Qatar later this year."

The U.S. has been charging visitors for electronic travel authorization for nearly 15 years, with that visa waiver program, ESTA, costing USD $21.

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