As part of the United Kingdom’s forthcoming Electronic Travel Authorization programme, U.S. citizens will soon be required to apply in advance of their journeys and pay a nominal charge to enter the nation.
According to a representative from the British Consulate General in the United States, the ETA scheme’s primary goal is to increase border security by providing more precise information on those who cross into the United Kingdom. This is part of the United Kingdom’s strategy to digitally transform its borders by the year 2025.
According to the U.K. government’s website, “the system will offer the U.K. more control of our borders, allowing us to prohibit threats from entering the U.K.,” while also “giving individuals, and carriers, with more certainty at an earlier point in time about their ability to travel to the U.K.”
Visitors and transit passengers from countries that do not require visas, such as the United States, will be subject to the “permission to travel” requirement if the programme is completely implemented by the end of 2023. Permission to travel through the ETA, however, is not the same as a standard visa.