UK Introduces Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Requirement

UK Introduces Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Requirement

Next year, Belizeans traveling to the United Kingdom will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to enter the country. The UK is moving to increase its border security and believes the measure will aid in irregular migration. The document will be electronically linked to your passport after the measure goes into effect. Yesterday, the UK’s Minister for the Americas and the Caribbean, David Rutley, and Belize’s Foreign Minister, Eamon Courtenay, weighed in on the decision and explained that an exact enforcement date has not been decided on.

David Rutley, UK Minister Americas and the Caribbean: It’s something that we’re going to be introducing but it isn’t going to affect Belizeans until at some point in 2024. And we’ll make sure there’s very clear communication about what’s required there and work closely with the Foreign Ministry to ensure that travellers, visitors from Belize are fully aware of the process, make it absolutely clear. But it doesn’t affect anybody travelling this year. It’s a 2024 issue and action that we’ll be taking forward with Belize. It’s to help us with our border controls. Other countries have got similar arrangements in place and this is a program that we’re going to be rolling out over the months ahead.”

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “That program exists at the moment between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. We know that the United Kingdom will be rolling it out in 2024. It will apply to countries that, as I understand it, do not require a visa to go into the United Kingdom. So this is a travel authorization. It will authorize you to go to the United Kingdom. I should say that in our discussions with the European Union they will also be rolling out their ETIAS. It’s a very similar program that will initially apply to those countries that are Schengen free. So much of the developed world rolling out this type of program. We spoke to the minister about it and sought some clarification as to how it will affect Belizeans when it is introduced. We were very happy to hear that, in fact, it will not be introduced in 2023 for Belizeans and therefore there is sufficient time for us to have an information and education program to allow Belizeans to understand how it will work.”

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