Some important visa changes have occurred in the following countries and there are a few things you need to know.

Travelling to China

British nationals will need a visa to enter mainland China and will also now be required to provide scanned fingerprints as part of the application process. Fingerprints can be taken at a visa application centre in; London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Belfast depending on which is nearest to you. The fee for the visa will cost around £150. It is recommended that you allow at least 8 weeks for your application to be processed.  When completing your visa, be sure to provide the correct documents and details as you will be denied access if any of your information is incorrect.

Travelling to the USA

Travel to the United States of America has also changed as a result of visa changes; you are now required to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) 72 hours before departure and you will be charged a fee of £11.57. Previously ESTA approval was instant. The process is simple and if you want to save a little bit extra you can go directly to the official site to manage your application.  You may also be asked to supply more information in the application process, including an optional section to list social media handles. If your ESTA application is refused, for whatever reason, you will not be entitled to get your money back as the website states that the fee is non-refundable.

Travelling to New Zealand

Travellers are now required to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) – as with the ESTA, you are advised to allow up to three days for the application to be reviewed. Forms only take a few minutes to complete via an online application process, however, you will be charged a fee of £6 for the visa and an additional International Visitor Levy of £19 to fund conservation projects.

If you are due to travel and are unsure about whether you need a visa, make sure you check the government website(

You are responsible for having the correct documents when you travel abroad which means that if you are refused entry to a country for not having the correct visa, or your visa is incomplete, your travel insurance will not cover the loss of any expenses. However, if your visa is denied for reasons beyond your control; your travel insurance may look to cover this.

If you are due to travel in upcoming weeks make sure you check with your travel agent or tour operator for any visa changes for the country you are travelling to. Always allow enough time for your visa application as you may be turned away if left until last minute