Canadians Will Soon Have To Pay A Fee To Visit The UK
* Cries into crumpet. *
You're going to have to dig into your pockets and share your (uncommon) wealth if you want to visit the U.K. The country is getting ready to start charging visitors from Canada, the U.S., Australia and Europe for Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). The digital pre-approval program, announced last month, will roll out by the end of the year, according to a March update from the British government.
Much like the European visa waiver program that will soon charge travellers to enter the Schengen zone, the British ETA will require Canadian citizens to provide background information and pay a fee "in line with similar international schemes" to step foot on royal soil. The cost, which is still to be announced, could range anywhere from $7 to over $20.
The UK government claims the new rules will strengthen border security. Applicants will need to enter biometric details and answer a set of "suitability questions" to gain entry. The visa waiver will stay valid for two years.
The first people to use the system will be U.K. visitors from Qatar, who can apply for an ETA as of October 2023. Applications will be available online via an app. Anyone with a British or Irish passport will not need to apply.
If you don't feel like dishing out the extra fee to visit the land of tea and King Charles III, you might want to prioritise your pond jump travel plans to this year.
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