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By the end of 2024, EU citizens will need to apply for a travel authorization to enter the UK

European Union nationals will need to apply for an online travel authorization in order to travel to the United Kingdom by the end of 2024. Only Irish passport holders will be exempt.

Since the Brexit began in 2016 and was completed in 2020, the UK government has been looking into methods to enhance its borders and security, and one of the ways it intends to do so is through the implementation of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

The ETA was introduced as part of the Nationality and Borders Bill for passengers visiting the United Kingdom as well as those transiting through the nation who do not currently require a visa for short stays. The ETA will also be required for those who do not already have an immigration status before travelling.

“The scheme will give the UK more control of our borders, allowing us to block threats from entering the UK, whilst also providing individuals, and carriers, with more assurance at an earlier point in time about their ability to travel to the UK,” the UK Home Office notes in a policy paper regarding the ETA.

The cost of acquiring a UK ETA is still unknown; however, it will undoubtedly be less expensive than obtaining a UK visa. The Home Office anticipates that roughly 30 million applications will be processed through the ETA system each year.

Application methods and more system specifics have not yet been disclosed, but will be in the future.

Nationals of the following countries, who do not currently require a visa to enter the UK, will be required to apply for an ETA by the end of 2024:

  • EU/EFTA Member States

  • Andorra

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Argentina

  • Australia

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belize

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Brunei

  • Canada

  • Chile

  • Costa Rica

  • Dominica

  • Timor-Leste

  • El Salvador

  • Grenada

  • Guatemala

  • Honduras

  • Hong Kong

  • Israel

  • Japan

  • Kiribati

  • Macau

  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Marshall Islands

  • Mauritius

  • Mexico

  • Micronesia

  • Monaco

  • Namibia

  • Nauru

  • New Zealand

  • Nicaragua

  • Palau

  • Panama

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Paraguay

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • Saint Lucia

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Samoa

  • San Marino

  • Seychelles

  • Singapore

  • Solomon Islands

  • South Korea

  • Taiwan

  • Tonga

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Tuvalu

  • United States

  • Uruguay

  • Vanuatu

  • Vatican City

Some other countries, like the United States, which has the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, already have such systems in place.

The European Union, on the other hand, will establish its own travel authorization system, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, in 2024. (ETIAS). The same was supposed to go live in November 2023, but due to contractor delays on another system critical to the ETIAS's functionality, the latter has been pushed back to 2024.



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