The United Kingdom is currently in the process of introducing the new Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme that, for many foreign visitors, will mean the need to get prior permission to enter the UK.
The UK ETA is already open for one nation, i.e., Qatar. From February 2024, other countries, including Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, will be eligible for the UK ETA application.
The ETA functions as an electronic travel and entry permit for certain travelers wishing to visit the UK for short-term stays.
The permit is issued for 2 years and entitles to numerous entries to the United Kingdom. Every single stay in the country can be as long as 6 months.
According to some official government statements, the launch of the UK ETA was planned for the end of 2023. However, it is more likely that the new scheme will be fully operational by the end of 2024.
The introduction of the UK ETA is supposed to strengthen security checks and prevent certain people who could pose a danger from entering the country. The ETA scheme was to be launched along with the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). However, the launch of ETIAS was postponed to spring 2025.
The UK ETA is expected to be a mandatory document for all EU and EEA member states, as well as some other countries like the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Japan, etc. It will also replace the UK Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW), which is currently issued to GCC countries.
British and Irish citizens will be exempt from the necessity to get permission to travel to or remain in the UK.
The complete list of UK ETA-eligible countries is yet to be confirmed. Nevertheless, the following nations having visa-free agreements with the UK are expected to be included on the list:
European Union member countries
Other European countries
Other visa-exempt nations
The UK ETA is a one-type mandatory permit that can be granted to eligible travelers for the following purposes:
Also, ETA holders can use the valid permit for the purpose of:
Important: For any other traveling purpose, including long-term residency or working in the UK, you will need to obtain an appropriate visa directly at the nearest UK embassy or consulate present in your residence or home country.
UK ETA is available online, and the application process itself should take just a couple of minutes. What is essential it must be completed a few days prior to the departure – at least 3 business days prior to travel.
Applicants need to prepare a valid passport and start the application process consisting of the following steps:
To avoid any unnecessary delays in the processing of your ETA application, make sure that all the details provided in the online form are up-to-date, true, and correct.
Please note that there is no need to carry a printed version of your approved ETA since it will be automatically linked to your passport.
The validity of the UK ETA is 2 years from the issue date and covers numerous entries to Great Britain.
Since it is issued as a multiple-entry permit, its holder can enter and re-enter the United Kingdom as many times as they wish and stay for up to 6 months each time.
To successfully complete the UK ETA application, you will need to prepare the following documents and information, which can help to smoothly go through the online registration:
ETA UK is mandatory even if you plan only transit through the United Kingdom before reaching the final destination.
Do remember to apply for the UK ETA before transiting through the United Kingdom (even if you are not going to seek immigration clearance) to avoid any issues.
Once you submit your ETA application, our consultants will revise it and send it further for final approval. Your ETA confirmation will be sent to your email address as soon as the UK government approves it. Don't forget to refresh your email inbox!
The confirmation of your approved UK ETA will be delivered straight to your email inbox. The exact time may differ depending on the application, but it should take up to a few business days.
UK ETA is digitally matched to the applicant's passport, so no printed version is required to be shown at the UK border.
Should your ETA not be approved, make sure to contact our support team immediately. Our consultants will try to discuss your situation and find the reason for your UK ETA rejection.
All UK ETA holders are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. Since ETA is issued as a multiple-entry permit, every stay in the UK can last up to 180 days.
The UK ETA is issued for 2 years and functions as a multiple-entry permit, meaning that its holder can visit England, Wales, or Scotland throughout the entire validity period without needing to obtain a new ETA each time.
Children are not exempt from the UK ETA scheme. It is their parents or legal guardians who should apply for the ETA on their behalf.
Travelers need to pay a small processing fee (49 Euro) for the ETA application. The fee can be covered using one of the available methods of online payment, including credit/debit card or PayPal.
You will need to prepare your valid passport and take a picture of your face. Additionally, make sure you have access to an Internet-accessed electronic device, a valid means of online payment, and an active email address.
The UK ETA processing time should take around 3 business days. Make sure to provide up-to-date and correct information so that you can ensure a smooth application without any unnecessary delays.
Your passport and face photograph are the only documents needed to apply for the ETA UK. Ensure that your passport will not expire for at least 6 months from the planned date of your entry to the UK.
All travelers will be asked to provide some crucial details, including personal data, passport information, travel-related details as well as contact information.
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