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Planning a Visit to the UK? Prepare for an Online Application and Fee 

Information compiled by Mary Gallagher Photos by Will A. Davis


Visiting the UK and many European countries is going to require a bit more paperwork and money!




Traveling to the United Kingdom? Soon you’ll have to apply in advance and pay to enter the country when the Electronic Travel Authorization visa waiver goes into effect,

According to the UK government’s ETA website, the ETA system, will be fully functioning by the end of 2023. All non-visa foreign visitors (including those from the United States) need to apply online in advance of entry. 

The ETA is part of the UK’s effort to fully digitize and further secure its borders by 2025.

Paris and the Eiffel Tower
Paris and the Eiffel Tower

Travelers will need to provide personal details, passport information, and security information. Applications will then be processed automatically and travelers should expect a response typically within 48 to 72 hours.

The cost for the application was not immediately clear and was expected to be announced at a later date.


The ETA will first be rolled out to several Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and more.


Europe plans to implement its new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in November. That authorization will include a €7 fee and apply to foreign visitors 18 to 70 years old.


In the U.S., visitors must also apply for a similar authorization before coming: the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which is available to travelers from countries granted a Visa Waiver Program. Last year, the fee for ESTA increased from $14 to $21.

My advice after seeing the many months delays for U.S. documents like passports, TSA Pre-check or Global Entry (appointments not ever available) in the last two years would be to tell travelers to verify details with their destination countries and then apply as soon as your allowed for the documents you may need.


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