People wanting to take a trip to see Big Ben in London or the Scottish highlands will soon need to apply for permission through the U.K.’s Electronic Travel Authorization process.
The ETA system is set to go online at the end of this year. It’s part of an effort to digitize the nation’s borders by “allowing us to block threats from entering the U.K.,” according to the government’s website.
It’s a process that’s already implemented in countries such as Canada, Australia and the U.S., but the government clarified that the “ETA is not a visa. Europeans and travelers from countries including the U.S. and Canada will maintain their visa-free status but will need an ETA to cross the U.K. border.”
Everyone coming to the country — whether for business or tourism — will need to apply for the ETA.
Completing the online application is simple. All it requires is a valid passport, travel details, a valid email address and a credit or debit card for payment. What that price is has yet to be determined, but for comparison, the ETA price to visit the U.S. is $21, according to USA Today.
Foreigners are advised to knock out the ETA application a few days before their flight out of the country since approvals usually take two-three days.
Your ETA will be valid for two years. Those who show up without completing the application could be liable for a fine.
• Matt Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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