Wednesday, May 26, 2021

UK to Launch ETA System to Register Travellers Entering & Leaving the Country, Including EU Citizens

The United Kingdom’s government plans to launch an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), which would register the number of persons entering and leaving the country, as part of efforts to tighten border controls.

Such a decision has been confirmed by Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has stressed that the new digital system will be similar to the United States’ digital visa system ESTA, and would determine whether a person should be permitted to enter the United Kingdom’s territory or not, reports.

If implemented, the program would be the first one in Britain to count the number of persons entering and exiting Britain accurately.

Patel asserted that the system would work for the “law-abiding majority” and against persons who attempt to “abuse our hospitality and generous spirit”.

“Our new fully digital border will provide the ability to count people in and count people out of the country,” she pointed out in this regard.

The Home Office believes that there will be nearly 30 million applications processed each year through the program that will be launched in the future.

However, some critics said that such an initiative is being created as an effort to deport persons who seek international protection back to their countries of origin in Europe, stressing that it’s inhuman and incoherent.

But, according to the UK’s Home Secretary, the new idea would make it easier for authorities in Britain to identify potential threats before persons reach the country’s borders while adding that the program will also give its citizens confidence that the strongest controls at the borders are in place, in order to keep them protected and safe, as promised.

“We will have a far clearer picture of who is here and whether they should be, and we will act if they are not”, Patel pointed out.

According to an article published by the Guardian, the Home Office has emphasized that it plans to make Britain entry completely digital by 2025.

The new system would also be applied to arrivals from the European Union countries, apart from those who have the right to live in Britain.

Authorities in Britain have recently reported that more than 140 foreign criminals have been removed from the country during the past few days, while the total number of criminals removed from the country exceeded 700 up to this point.

However, European Union countries’ authorities have pointed out that they will reject any bilateral agreement which intends to facilitate the deportation of the refugees from the UK.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is an electronic system that registers the number of travellers from countries who do not need a visa in order to enter the borderless area of Schengen.

The ETIAS permission is required for all third-country citizens planning to travel to Europe for short-term stays of more than 90 days.

Citizens of the United Kingdom will also be subject to ETIAS when it is launched, at the end of 2022, meaning that the UK nationals will also need an ETIAS visa waiver when planning to enter the Schengen Zone.

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