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Canadians will be charged to visit the UK starting next year

Canadians who have plans to visit Big Ben or the Scottish Highlands in the UK will need to pay a fee starting next year.

The UK government recently announced that it would be implementing its new visa waiver system called the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) worldwide in 2024.

It was created to strengthen security at the UK border by "ensuring robust security checks are conducted on every visitor pre-travel."

"ETAs will enhance our border security by increasing our knowledge about those seeking to come to the UK and preventing the arrival of those who pose a threat," Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick stated in a news release.

Before you plan your ultimate UK trip next year, here's what you need to know about the ETA.

Who will need an ETA?

According to the British government, anyone coming from a country that does not need a visa to enter the UK will be required to get an ETA.

This includes Canadians and Americans.

Though it hasn't been finalized, you can view the list of eligible countries here.

You will also need it for specific travel situations.

The government says you’ll need an ETA to do the following:

You don't need an ETA if you have either:

  • A British or Irish passport
  • Permission to live, work or study in the UK
  • A visa to enter the UK
How much will it cost?

Fortunately, it won't cost you an arm and a leg to apply. The government says an ETA will cost £10 (about C$16) per applicant.

How do you apply?

Canadians can apply for themselves, or on behalf of others on the UK ETA app, or online on

Each traveller needs their own ETA, including children and babies.

The government says you should get a decision within three working days, but it may take longer if they need to make further checks.

You'll get an email confirmation when your application has been approved. The ETA will then be linked electronically to the passport you applied with, so make sure you use the same passport to travel.

The £10 will go a long way since the ETA lasts for two years. However, if your passport expires in less than two years, you’ll need to get a new ETA.

The UK isn't the only country that has implemented an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreigners.

The European Union has moved the implementation of its European Travel Information Authorization System (ETIAS) several times now.

Canada has had a similar system in place for years called an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) that only costs $7.

The United States also has a similar setup called the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Lead photo by

Kris Pangilinan

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