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12.50 US Dollar Entry fee for Visa Exempt Travellers to the UK


The United Kingdom on 6th June 2023 announced a 12.50 US Dollar entry fee for Visa-exempt travellers to the UK. This is something that we had been awaiting since the 9th March 2023 of this year when the UK announced the updates to the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). The United Kingdom is not the first one to introduce a nominal fee of this type. The United States and Europe both had a fee of 21.50 US dollars and 7.50 US Dollars for Europe.

Who is affected by the 12.50 US Dollars Visa Fee?

The 12.50 US Dollar or 10 GBP is for travellers who are eligible under the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme. As per website, the visa exemption is getting introduced from 15th November 2023, starting from the nationals of Qatar. Going forward the further 6 more countries will get added under the ETA scheme. Following are the countries which will get added from 22nd February 2024:

  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

More nationalities will be added to the scheme later. To know more about Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) check out our detailed news article here “Electronic Travel Authorisation Scheme for Visa-Exempt Nationals

If you are a traveller who is planning your holidays in London, United Kingdom. You can book your visa consultation with iVisa here, they will take care of all your visa requirements and compliances basis the recent changes in the UK visa application processes.

Apply for UK Visa

On 25th July 2023, further changes were brought into effect for people who are travelling from Ireland

If you live in Ireland and you’re not an Irish citizen

You will not need an ETA if all of the following apply:

  • you’re legally resident in Ireland
  • you do not need a visa to enter the UK
  • you’re entering the UK from Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

You can prove you live in Ireland by showing any of the following:

  • Irish driving licence
  • Irish learner permit
  • medical card
  • GP visit card
  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Irish Residence Permit
  • Permanent Residence Certificate
  • Temporary Residence Certificate
  • National Age Card

The document must be:

  • an original
  • issued by the Irish government
  • valid at the time you travel

If you’re under 16, you will not be asked to show a document.

How to apply for the UK Visa hassle-free?

As there are so many rules and regulation updates happening around the UK visa every now and then, a lot of time inevitably goes into organising the paperwork, appointments and processing time. On top of all this, keeping up to date with the latest changes and updates ever since Brexit, is confusing. Who wants to get bogged down by the paperwork and long waiting time in the queues at the embassies?

We have recently partnered with Their expertise lies in helping get you a visitor visa to travel to the UK and around the world. Simply create your account online, and share all the information, from passport-size photos to the type of documents you require. They cover all, helping you get your UK tour visa hassle-free.

uk tourist visa
UK Tourist Visa

Your visa application will get reviewed by the visa expert at iVisa, making sure that if any of the document is missing, they inform you well in advance and make sure the application gets approved swiftly. If the passport-size photo you have provided, does not match the visa compliance then the visa expert working on your application will inform you and will help you get new photos digitally.

They also offer passport renewal services, however, this is not for all countries but they offer this service for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland as of now.

iVisa offers 24/7 customer service, no matter if you are living in any part of the world and are planning your travel to the UK. iVisa representatives will help you throughout the visa process and let you worry about London tour and vacation plans.

Apply for UK Visa

Eid Al Fitr 2022 festivities will be held around the UK

Eid Al Fitr 2022 festivities will be held around the UK as Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Eid al Fitr translates as “the festival of the breaking of the fast” and is one of the major holidays in the Muslim calendar. This year it is special after 2 years of COVID restrictions.

Sadiq Khan tweeted on Twitter: “As Eid celebrations across the globe begin, I want to pay tribute to London’s Muslim communities whose charity and huge contributions help to make our capital what it is – the greatest city in the world.”

In central London, Eid will be celebrated in Trafalgar Square on May 7 the Mayor of London’s 17th Eid in the Square, a festival developed by grassroots Muslim organisations. The Main Stage will be hosted by award-winning actor, filmmaker and BBC Asian Network presenter Mistah Islah alongside former teacher and trailblazing broadcaster Mehreen Baig and features a mix of traditional and contemporary acts including Baha Yetin Sufi Ensemble, Nafees Ifran & Qalandar Qawwali Band, Dur Dur Band, Star Children’s Choir and the Original Mummy’s Boy, spoken word poet Hussain Manawer, plus a special guest star. Don’t miss out on visiting Trafalgar Square on 7th May to exhibit the Eid Celebrations.

For the first time this year, the international Edgbaston cricket stadium in Birmingham is being used to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with 2,000 people on Monday.

Organisers at the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre, will also host another Eid celebration in Small Heath Park and welcome an estimated 20,000 people.

“We have worked with the Edgbaston team on several projects and have been impressed by their professionalism and genuine commitment to supporting the local community,” said Kamran Hussain, chief executive of Green Lane Masjid, a leading UK mosque in Birmingham.

In Manchester, more than 10,000 people are at Eid in the Park, which has become one of the fastest-growing events and is now, at Platt Fields Park, in its seventh year.

Two other events are being held in Ilford, East London, and another at Shepherd’s Bush in West London.

The Ilford event is back at Goodmayes Park for its 16th year and the Shepherd’s Bush event at Westfield Shopping Centre is now in its third year.

We wish all our Muslim followers an Eid Mubarak 2022.

Eid Mubarak 2022
Eid Mubarak 2022

Travel to London

In case you are planning to travel during Ramadan and Eid, you can check our tour packages and we also have shared information for you to plan your travel to London from your city.


“Major incident” declared by the Mayor of London due to the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.


Sadiq Khan said Omicron is now the “dominant variant” in London and was having an impact on staff absences in the emergency services across the city.

He said London was the UK region with the largest number of Covid cases.

Latest government data shows there are 1,534 Covid patients in London hospitals – up 28.6% on last week.

Mr Khan said in the last 24 hours, London had seen the largest number of new cases since the coronavirus pandemic began – more than 26,000.

He added: “Hospital admissions are going up, but also staff absences are going up by a massive level.

“So I’ve taken the decision in consultation with our partners to declare a major incident today.”

Major incidents have previously been called in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and the terror attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.

A major incident is any emergency which requires the implementation of special arrangements by one or all of the emergency services, the NHS or the local authority.

It means the emergency services and hospitals cannot guarantee their normal level of response.

Mr Khan also declared a major incident on 8 January due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 and its impact on the health service.

It was in place until 26 February as case numbers in the capital fell.

Making the announcement on Saturday, Mr Khan said: “The really bad news is those in hospital – the vast, vast majority are unvaccinated that’s why it is so important to get both the vaccines and the booster jab.

“Londoners will notice over the course of the next few days even more places across the city offering both the vaccines and the booster.

“What we can’t afford to see is even more of our crucial key workers going off sick because they have this virus.”

Mr Khan’s comments came as Wembley Stadium, Stamford Bridge and The Valley were all set up as mass vaccination centres.

Oxford Street will also have a vaccination bus and Mr Khan urged people who were eligible to get a booster jab and for others to make sure they were vaccinated.

He said: “It is still the case that in some pockets of London, there are black Londoners, there are Muslim Londoners, there are Jewish Londoners, there are Eastern European Londoners, who still haven’t had a vaccine.

“So reaching out to those communities…to explain why the vaccine is important and to make sure nobody is left behind, we are making sure more Londoners get the first dose.”

Latest government figures show 2.7m Londoners have received their booster jab.

Georgia Gould, chair of London Councils, said: “The rapid spread of Omicron across our city is of huge concern.

“Local councils have stepped up and played a vital role in supporting their communities through the pandemic. I know they will continue with these efforts, but we cannot do this alone.”

The mayor’s decision was announced as Cabinet ministers were set to be briefed on the latest Covid data.

Omicron is now thought to be the dominant Covid variant in England and Scotland, replacing Delta.

On Friday, the UK saw another record number of daily Covid cases for the third consecutive day, with more than 93,000 infections confirmed.

But there were also a record 861,306 booster and third dose vaccine jabs administered – the highest daily total so far.

Planning your travel to London?

Before you travel to London, please make sure that you have all necessary covid vaccines taken. Travel responsibly and safely. Keep checking our website and news, Covid section to keep up-to-date with the latest travel advisory for travel to London and the UK.

United Kingdom may face another lockdown in Christmas if we don’t act soon


United Kingdom may face another lockdown in Christmas if we don’t act soon

A prominent adviser to the UK government on Covid-19 has said he is very fearful of another Christmas lockdown, as he urged the public to do everything possible to reduce the spread of the virus. Public and health officials need to act soon to take extra precautions to curtail

Professor Stephen Reicher says vaccines are “not quite enough” on their own and “other protections” are now needed – as a fellow expert says he is fearful of another “lockdown Christmas”.

Prof Peter Openshaw, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said the current number of cases and deaths rates were unacceptable, and reiterated the importance of measures such as working from home and mask wearing.

His intervention comes after the prime minister resisted calls from health leaders, including the head of the NHS Confederation and the council chair of the British Medical Association, who urged “categorically” that the “time is now” for tighter restrictions.

Asked on Friday about the possibility of a winter lockdown, Boris Johnson said there was “absolutely nothing to indicate that that is on the cards at all”. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, also said the vaccine rollout and booster jabs made a lockdown or “very significant economic restrictions” unlikely.

Cases and deaths as published 23 Oct 2021
Cases and deaths as published 23 Oct 2021. Vaccinations as % of total population (including under 18s), published 22 Oct 2021. Weekly change shows difference from 7 days ago. Source:

The health secretary, Sajid Javid, conceded earlier this week that new cases could reach a record 100,000 a day, but Downing Street insisted there was still spare capacity in the NHS and that “plan B” winter measures, including the mandatory use of face masks and working from home guidance, would only be activated if it came under significant pressure.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Openshaw told BBC Breakfast on Saturday that he feared “another lockdown Christmas if we don’t act soon”. He said: “We know that with public health measures the time to act is immediately. There’s no point in delaying. If you do delay then you need to take even more stringent actions later. The immediacy of response is absolutely vital if you’re going to get things under control.”

He said getting measures in place now in order to “get transmission rates right down” was key to having “a wonderful family Christmas where we can all get back together”.

Openshaw said it was “unacceptable to be letting this run at the moment … I think hospitals in many parts of the country are barely coping actually. Talking to people on the frontline, I think it’s just not sustainable to keep going at this rate.”

The UK recorded its highest number of Covid-related deaths since March last week.

Openshaw said: “At one stage last week there were 180 deaths in a single day. That is just too many deaths. We seem to have got used to the idea that we’re going to have many, many people dying of Covid and that I think is just not the case,.”

He urged the public to take matters into their own hands to slow down transmission of the virus, rather than waiting for the government to reintroduce measures, including avoiding public transport and crowded spaces if possible, getting vaccinated and accepting the offer of the booster jab.

“The sooner we all act, the sooner we can get this transmission rate down, and the greater the prospect of having a Christmas with our families,” he said.

england covid stats as on 22nd October 2021
England covid stats as on 22nd October 2021

Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said in minutes of a meeting published on Friday that a further huge rise in infections as seen in January was increasingly unlikely. Other experts predict a series of broader, flatter peaks as the virus continues to spread.

In its meeting dated 14 October, however, Sage said measures contained in the government’s plan B would be most effective if implemented in unison and earlier rather than later.

Trade union leaders representing 3 million frontline workers attacked the government’s “laissez-faire approach to managing the pandemic” on Friday. They said it risked “another winter of chaos” without urgent action, including mandatory mask wearing in shops and on public transport.

And at least a dozen local public health chiefs in England have broken from the government’s official guidance and recommended plan B measures, including mask wearing and working from home, to combat a surge in Covid infections in their areas.

A surge in Indian tourists brings big spending to a cheaper London

A surge in Indian tourists brings big spending to a cheaper London. Some key statistics are below:

  • Spending by Indian tourists in London’s West End was up 38 per cent year-on-year in July 2017
  • Only visitors from China and the U.S. spent more money in London
  • Over the past decade, the value of the international Indian tourist market grew by 150 per cent

China’s recent Golden Week holiday saw an influx of Chinese tourists to London, but a different Asian consumer has increasingly been spending money in the U.K. capital.

Spending by Indian tourists in London’s West End was up 38 per cent year-on-year in July, according to the New West End Company, a body that represents the central London shopping and theatre district.

Visitors from the world’s second most populous country ranked third for international spending in the West End in July, outstripping typically high-spending Middle Eastern visitors, and falling behind only China and the U.S.

Economic growth in India is expected to rise to 7.2 per cent in the fiscal year of 2017/18, and 7.5 per cent the following year, according to the World Bank. India is home to 1.3 billion people, trailing only China’s 1.4 billion population; by a United Nations estimate, India is set to overtake China’s population by 2024.

However, according to the New West End Company, there was a marked lag between the spending power of Indian consumers in comparison to the Chinese an average of 677 and 1,478 respectively in July. VisitBritain, the U.K.’s tourism authority, said that the average spending by Indian tourists in the U.K. was 74 per cent higher than the all-market average.

Sterling, despite recovering some losses since its initial drop following June 2016’s Brexit vote, is still down roughly 11 per cent since before the referendum. International tourist numbers have since been on the up, sparked by cheaper prices.

VisitBritain, in a report on Indian tourism to the U.K. out last Thursday, said that over the past decade, the value of the international Indian tourist market had grown by 150 per cent, rising from $6.2 billion in 2005 to $16.4 billion in 2016.

The report said that the U.K. was the 10th most popular destination for travel, and second to France in Europe, with Indian tourists preferring to visit Gulf countries and the U.S.

India’s overhaul of its Goods and Services Tax was launched on July 1, resulting in a fall in the taxation of economy flights from 5 to 6 per cent, while business class flights are now taxed more at 12 per cent, up from 9 per cent.

Source: Justina Crabtree(Digital News Assistant, CNBC)

Record year as 19 million tourists visit London

Record year as 19 million tourists visit London

The number of foreign visitors to London has smashed through the 19 million mark for the first time in another record year for tourism.

The total number of visits rose 2.6 per cent from 18.6 million to 19.1 million with a particularly strong 8 per cent surge in the final three months of 2016, according to official data from the Office for National Statistics.

Tourism bosses said the fall in the value of the pounds after the Brexit referendum in June had helped make the capital an even more attractive destination for visitors.

However, spending on hotels, restaurants and attractions was slightly down over the year at £11.9 billion, although it was up in the last quarter.

Numbers have risen steadily since the Olympics and Paralympics of 2012 gave London an unprecedented shop window to the rest of the world. Annual visits are now 25 per cent higher than five years ago.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: I am delighted that more people than ever before are choosing to visit London, immersing themselves in all that our great city has to offer including an unbeatable array of restaurants, museums, shops and theatres.

“This is further evidence that London is Open and has an appeal that clearly extends across the globe.?

Major events that boosted tourism numbers last year included Great Fire 350, which saw thousands of people lining the River Thames to see the burning of a replica City of London.

Also popular among visitors were blockbuster exhibitions such as David Hockney at the Royal Academy, and EXHIBITIONISM at the Saatchi Gallery; the first retrospective of the Rolling Stones’s life and career.

Many museums also saw record numbers of visitors. Joanna Mackle, Deputy Director of the British Museum, said: The British Museum is delighted to be the most visited attraction in the UK for the 10th year running.