UK to introduce Electronic Travel Authorisation visitor scheme

Heathrow airport baggage strike
By Lisa James
10/03/2023
Home » UK to introduce Electronic Travel Authorisation visitor scheme

The Government is to introduce an Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme for overseas visitors, beginning later this year.

By the end of 2024, ETAs will be a requirement worldwide for visitors who do not need a visa for short stays, including those visiting from Europe.

Visitors from Europe, and other nations such as America and Australia do not currently need to make any form of application to visit to the UK, however this will be changing with the introduction of ETAs. 

Most visitors will be able to apply via a mobile app and will receive a swift decision on their application.

As part of the application process, individuals will need to provide biometric details and answer a set of suitability questions.

The cost of an ETA will be in line with similar international schemes, and individuals can make multiple visits to the UK over a two-year validity period.

Qatar passport holders will be the first to need an ETA to enter the UK, from 15 November 2023. They can apply in advance from 25 October 2023.

The ETA will replace the current Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme, which requires visitors to the UK from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states – Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – to pay a higher cost for a single-use visit.

Before 15 November, Qataris will need to have a EVW to travel to the UK.

The rest of the GCC, as well as Jordan, will have to apply for an ETA from February 2024.

British and Irish nationals will not need an ETA to travel to the UK.

People arriving in the UK via Ireland will still be subject to UK immigration requirements, including the need for visitors to have an ETA.

Those legally resident in Ireland will not need an ETA when travelling to the UK from within the Common Travel Area.

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