South Africans will need to apply for additional ‘permission to travel’ to the UK from 2023

South Africans visiting the United Kingdom (UK) will be required to apply for digital approval to travel to the UK in addition to their normal visa applications in 2023.

As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen border security, the UK government has announced that it will introduce a ‘Permission to Travel’ scheme from the middle of next year.

Under the scheme, all visitors wishing to enter the UK will need to apply for permission in advance of their journey. This will enable authorities to screen applicants and prevent those who pose a threat from travelling to the UK.

Visa nationals and anyone resident or coming to work and study will be required to obtain eVisas, in accordance with the new scheme.

The move is part of the UK government’s efforts to deliver a more targeted approach to border security and follows other measures such as the introduction of e-gates for Europeans and the expansion of biometric data collection,” said Move Up, a leading UK-specific immigration consultancy based in Cape Town.

“Instead of turning people away at the border, this new approach is an attempt to prevent undesirables from travelling to the UK in the first place,” said Move Up.

Electronic Travel Authorisation
The new digital approval for UK travel is called Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) and will be rolled out globally over the first three quarters of 2023.

The ETA isn’t a visa. It only allows people to get on board an aeroplane bound for the UK. When South Africans arrive at the UK border, they will still need to go through the existing border control process,” said Move Up managing director, Ryan Rennison.

Travellers applying for an ETA must answer a short set of suitability questions and provide their biographic, biometric and contact details. This information will be verified and assessed to determine whether the individual is allowed to travel to the UK.

While permission to travel to the UK will be granted in most cases, it may be refused if an applicant is deemed to pose a risk to security or public safety.

The ‘Permission to Travel‘ scheme is due to come into effect from the second quarter of 2023.

Cheapest A1 English Test available in SA
Move Up recently announced that it has been granted a licence by a British-government-approved SELT provider for South Africans applying for UK visas. Move Up’s new service means that South Africans can apply for certain visas sooner than through any other provider, and possibly pay less.

They currently offer the cheapest A1 category tests in the country and the soonest available appointments in Cape Town.

This is great news for South Africans who want to live and work in the UK,” said Rennison. “We are the cheapest provider of English Language A1 tests, and our Cape Town appointments are available faster than any other provider. This means that South Africans could get their visas sooner and start their new lives in the UK.

We are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service and value,” said Rennison. “Combined with our staff’s years of experience and specialist expertise in preparing successful visa applications for our clients, our Secure English Language Tests allow South Africans to apply for their UK visas quickly and with confidence, knowing that they meet the requirements.

To find out which English test you require for your preferred UK visa, visit Or contact Move Up for help getting your UK visa granted.


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