Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) Scheme: What You Need to Know

Join facebook Page Join Now

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) Scheme, When, Who is required, cost, duration, how to apply

The UK government’s top priority is ensuring the safety of the country. To enhance border security and streamline travel, the UK is introducing an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme. An ETA is essentially a digital permission for people to travel to the UK.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) Scheme, When, Who is required, cost, duration, how to apply

Who is required for the ETA Scheme?

The UK ETA scheme is a new digital permission to travel to the UK for visitors. The ETA scheme primarily targets visitors who are planning short trips to the UK and do not require a visa or have any prior UK immigration status.

When Does the ETA Scheme Start?

For Qatari nationals, the ETA scheme will launch on October 25, 2023. From February 1, 2024, it will be extended to nationals from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. By the end of 2024, it will be a requirement for all visitors who do not need a visa for short stays, including those visiting from Europe.

What Does an ETA Cost?

An ETA will cost £10 per applicant when the scheme begins. This is cheaper and multi-use over a two-year period than the current Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme.

How long is an ETA valid?

An ETA is valid for multiple journeys over a two-year period, or until the passport the individual used to apply with expires – whichever comes first.

Expanding Worldwide

By the end of 2024, this scheme will apply to visitors worldwide who do not require a visa for short stays, including those from Europe.

How to Apply for an ETA

The application process will be quick and straightforward. Most applicants will receive a response within three working days, with many getting a faster result. To apply for an ETA, individuals need to:

  1. Pay a fee
  2. Provide contact and passport details
  3. Submit a valid photo that meets the specified criteria
  4. Answer a set of questions

Applications can be made through the ‘UK ETA app’ or by searching for ‘Apply for an ETA to come to the UK’ on gov.uk or click here

Impact on Visitors

The ETA scheme affects visitors who don’t need a visa for short stays in the UK and don’t already have UK immigration status before traveling.

Enhancing UK Border Security

Applicants for an ETA will provide their personal, biometric, and contact information, as well as answer suitability questions. This information helps authorities understand who wants to come to the UK and helps prevent potential threats.

What If an ETA Application is Denied?

 If an individual’s ETA application is rejected, they will need to apply for a visa if they still want to visit the UK.

How will the scheme work in the context of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border?

British and Irish nationals won’t require an ETA. The Common Travel Area allows easy movement between the UK, Crown Dependencies, and Ireland. There won’t be routine immigration checks on journeys within the Common Travel Area, including the Ireland-Northern Ireland land border. However, individuals still need to comply with the UK’s immigration rules, including obtaining an ETA if necessary.

People legally residing in Ireland from visa-exempt nationalities (e.g., EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals) can visit the UK within the Common Travel Area without an ETA, provided they have appropriate residency documentation. But if they’re coming from outside the Common Travel Area, they’ll need an ETA.

Will Electronic Visa Waivers (EVWs) still be valid or replaced?

ETAs will replace Electronic Visa Waivers (EVWs). Currently, visitors from Gulf Cooperation Council states pay £30 for a single visit to the UK with EVWs. Under the ETA scheme, visitors will only pay £10 for multiple visits within two years.

Qatari visitors need an ETA starting from November 15, 2023, but can apply in advance from October 25, 2023. Until November 15, 2023, they will still require an EVW to travel to the UK. Visitors from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates need an ETA starting from February 22, 2024, but can apply in advance from February 1, 2024. Until February 22, 2024, they will continue to need an EVW to travel to the UK.

You can also read about the Alignment of fees on the student visa

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *