04 Oct 2023

United Kingdom

United Kingdom: Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Scheme Launch

Starting on October 25, 2023, the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme, to enter the United Kingdom, will launch for Qatari nationals initially, followed by nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on February 1, 2024.

The ETA will become a worldwide requirement for all visitors entering the UK who do not require a short stay visa. This will include those visiting from within Europe, travelling for business purposes and staying in the UK for less than six months.

The UK ETA can be applied for on the ‘UK ETA app’ or by searching for ‘Apply for an ETA to come to the UK.’ Approvals are sent via email within three working days, at most. The electronic document is then issued for multiple journeys with a two-year validity or until the holder’s passport expires – whichever is sooner. An ETA will cost £10 per applicant when the scheme opens. If an applicant’s ETA is refused, they will need to apply for a visa if they wish to seek permission to come to the UK.

British and Irish nationals will not require an ETA, as the Common Travel Area (CTA) facilitates movement of people between the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and Ireland.

All individuals arriving in the UK, including those crossing the land border into Northern Ireland, will continue to need to enter in accordance with the UK’s immigration framework, including the need to obtain an ETA, if required.

Individuals who are legal residents in Ireland and of a nationality that does not usually require a visa to visit the UK (e.g., EU, EEA and Swiss nationals), will not be required to obtain an ETA when travelling to the UK from within the Common Travel Area (CTA), provided they hold an acceptable document to demonstrate residency in Ireland. However, when such residents are travelling to the UK from outside of the CTA, they will require a UK ETA before travel.

For further details on the ETA application process, please review the information here or reach out to the T&S EMEA team.

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