The United Kingdom Prepares to Launch Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) System

News Details

The UK government has announced plans for fully digital border crossings by 2025. As part of this initiative, the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system has been introduced, allowing travelers to the UK to apply online for entry without a visa. Former UK Home Secretary Priti Patel emphasized that changes are forthcoming in UK visa policy, with the new ETA system providing the government with more precise immigration information.


When will the ETA system be launched?

The ETA system will be rolled out in several stages for travelers from different nationalities, with key initial dates outlined as follows:

October 25, 2023 – Application opens for ETA for Qatari citizens.

November 15, 2023 – ETA becomes mandatory for Qatari citizens.

February 2024 – Application opens for ETA for citizens of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The UK’s plan is to make ETA a requirement for entry for all other non-visa nationals, including Europeans.

It is expected that citizens of the following countries will qualify for the ETA in the future:

European Union Countries:

Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Belgium, Finland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, France, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Croatia, Germany, Malta, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Portugal.


Other European Countries:

Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, Vatican City, Iceland, Monaco, Switzerland.


Other Visa-Exempt Countries:

Antigua and Barbuda, El Salvador, Namibia, Singapore, Argentina, Grenada, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Australia, Guatemala, New Zealand, South Korea, Bahamas, Honduras, Nicaragua, Taiwan, Barbados, Hong Kong, Palau, Tonga, Belize, Japan, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Botswana, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Brazil, Macau, Paraguay, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Malaysia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, United States of America, Canada, Maldives, Saint Lucia, Uruguay, Chile, Marshall Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Samoa, Dominica, Mexico, San Marino, Timor-Leste, Micronesia, Seychelles.

If your country is not listed here, you will not need to apply for an ETA. However, the UK government plans to add more nationalities to the ETA program in the future.

What is the UK ETA system?

The ETA system processes visitors before their arrival in the UK, where travelers provide basic personal details, passport information, and some security-related information through an online ETA application form. Applications will be processed automatically, with complex decisions made by ETA officials.

Most individuals receive approved UK ETA quickly, allowing applicants to apply from home without needing to visit a UK embassy.


What is the validity of the UK ETA?

The specifications and validity of the UK ETA are as follows:

  • Valid for two years.
  • Allows multiple trips to the UK.
  • Permits travel to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


You can use the UK ETA for the following durations, depending on the purpose of your trip:

  • Up to 6 months for holidays, visiting friends and family, business trips, or study.
  • Up to 3 months with the Creative Worker visa privilege.

An ETA is required if you are transiting through UK airports to another destination.


Who does not need a UK ETA?

You do not need to obtain a UK ETA if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Holder of a British passport.
  • Holder of an Irish passport.
  • Have permission to live, work, or study in the UK.
  • Irish resident with visa waiver for the UK, entering from Ireland.
  • Holder of a UK visa.

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