London Bridge Borough Market attack vigil
UK's new ETA rule is set to begin later this year Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The UK is set to introduce an entry fee for travellers wanting to visit its countries, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.

After leaving the European Union (EU) a couple of years back, the UK has now announced a new scheme, the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

How much is the ETA fee?

The ETA is a new requirement for people who do not need a visa to enter the UK, starting in 2024. According to the latest updates by the Government of UK's Visa and Immigration Department of the Home Office, the ETA will be valid for two years or until the holder's passport expires, whichever is sooner. It will cost around £10 ($12 or €8.50).

Each traveller must have their own ETA, including children and babies—meaning a fee for each and every traveller will be applied with no kind of concession involved.

"The scheme will give the UK more control of our borders, allowing us to block threats from entering the UK while also providing individuals and carriers with more assurance at an earlier point in time about their ability to travel to the UK," the government stated in an official statement.

People planning to visit the UK for up to six months for tourism, visiting friends and family, for business or for studies will need to apply for the ETA. Even those entering the country for a maximum of three months on the Creative Worker visa concession, or those just transiting through the UK (including the ones who are not going through UK border control) will need the ETA.

More on travellers who need ETA to enter the UK

The process to obtain the ETA could take around 48 to 72 hours and it will be electronically linked to one's passport. The permit will allow a visitor to spend a maximum of 180 days (6 months) in the UK and visit any part of the country.

"You'll usually get a decision within 3 working days, but you may get a quicker decision. It may take longer than 3 working days if we need to make further checks," the UK government's statement stated further.

Irish citizens, who do not need a visa to travel to the UK, are excluded from the ETA requirement due to the Common Travel Agreement between the UK and Ireland. Even legal Ireland residents can enter the UK without an ETA from Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Starting Nov. 15, Qatar nationals will need to obtain the ETA in order to visit the UK. They can apply for the same and pay the entry fee starting Oct. 25. Meanwhile, travellers from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will need an ETA from February 22, 2024.

UK's ETA is based on the United States' Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) system, so one won't have to face a lot of paperwork. Just as British travellers need to sign up for ESTA online before entering the US, Americans will likely be required to do the same for travel to the UK.

The UK government is expected to roll out the ETA requirement to other foreign visitors as well, who currently have visa-free access to the UK, such as citizens of the European Union and people from Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Argentina, Israel, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and more before the end of 2024.

While it is still not very clear how ETA will be implemented, it is understood that it will be a simple process, where a person will be asked to register passport information and answer a series of security questions online to determine eligibility. On the application being accepted, the traveller will be issued a pass, which will be linked to their passport, and will permit them to visit the UK for a specific span of time.