What to know about UK’s new travel rule

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Bunmi Bailey

The United Kingdom (UK) has announced a new travel rule for citizens of every country except British and Irish nationals wishing to visit the UK.

The new rule, effective November 15, 2023, states that citizens of any other country wishing to travel to the UK need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) card before they enter or transit through the country.

Travellers who were formerly permitted to enter the UK without visas, e.g, Americans, Canadian, Australians etc, may not be allowed to board without a valid ETA.

“The UK travel requirements are changing. Except for British and Irish citizens, everyone, including children who enter or transit through the UK, will soon require permission before they travel,” a statement from the UK home office said.

“This means that if you were previously eligible to visit the UK without a visa and not already legally resident in the UK, you will need an ETA, your stay must be shorter than six months and could include tourism or visiting family and friends, transit, business, and short term study,” it added.

According to the UK government, there is no need to show a paper copy, but it may be helpful to prove the confirmation email for a person’s records. While an ETA grants permission to travel to the UK, it does not grant entry.

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