Travellers enjoying visa-free entry to the UK will soon need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to visit the country. Till now, nationals from visa-exempt countries did not need any pre-approval for crossing the border. However, by 2025, citizens from countries like the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the EU nations will only be permitted to enter the UK with digital authorisation from the British government.
For the Qatari nationals, the new ETA scheme will start in October 2023 and will be extended to visitors from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Jordan in February 2024.
Electronic Travel Authorisation to enter the UK: All the details
The UK’s Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said that the “ETAs will enhance our border security by increasing our knowledge about those seeking to come to the UK and preventing the arrival of those who pose a threat.”
This new development is the most significant change in the border force rules by the UK in decades, reported CNBC.
The British government shared that the application process will be ‘quick, light touch and entirely digital’; people will be able to apply from a mobile app or the government’s official website. Applicants will need to provide biometric details and answer a set of questions.
The decision of the ETA will arrive via email and be linked to the passport. The estimated time for the result is three working days. In some cases, it may take longer if further checks are required. The fee is yet to be announced; however, it will be consistent with other nations’ ETA.
Once approved, travellers will be permitted multiple entries over a two-year period.
Who will not need an ETA?
Legal residents of Ireland and the UK — including people with permission to live, work or study in the island country — will not need an ETA. Passports with a valid UK visa will not require it. This will only apply to citizens from visa-exempt countries who don’t undergo any checks before entering the UK.
Hero and feature image credit: Pixabay/Pexels
Related: ETIAS: What Is It And Will It Affect Your Next Europe Trip?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: It is the Electronic Travel Authorisation that will be granted to passports with visa exemption for the UK.
Answer: Citizens of countries that enjoy visa-free travel to the UK will need an ETA.