The United Kingdom (UK) Home Office has launched a new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for people visiting or transiting through the UK effective from November 15, 2023.
According update on the UK Home Office website:
An Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) will soon be a requirement for people who do not need a visa to come to the UK. It will give you permission to travel to the UK, and it will be electronically linked to your passport.
You’ll need an ETA to:
- come to the UK for up to 6 months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or study
- come to the UK for up to 3 months on the Creative Worker visa concession
- transit through the UK – including if you’re not going through UK border control
You can check if you need a visa.
Who will need an ETA
If you’re from Qatar
You’ll need an ETA if you’re travelling to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. You’ll be able to apply from 25 October.
If you’re from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates
You’ll need an ETA if you’re travelling to the UK on or after 22 February 2024. You’ll be able to apply from 1 February 2024.
If you’re from another country
You do not need to apply for an ETA now. More nationalities will be added to the scheme later.
Who will not need an ETA
You will not need an ETA if you have either:
- a British or Irish passport
- permission to live, work or study in the UK
- a visa to enter the UK
If you live in Ireland and you’re not an Irish citizen
You will not need an ETA if all of the following apply:
- you’re legally resident in Ireland
- you do not need a visa to enter the UK
- you’re entering the UK from Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
You can prove you live in Ireland by showing any of these:
- Irish driving licence
- Irish learner permit
- medical card
- GP visit card
- European Health Insurance Card
- Irish Residence Permit
- Permanent Residence Certificate
- Temporary Residence Certificate
- National Age Card
The document must be:
- an original
- issued by the Irish government
- valid at the time you travel
If you’re under 16, you will not be asked to show a document.
How to apply
You’ll need to apply on the UK ETA app, or online on GOV.UK. You can apply on behalf of others.
Each traveller must get their own ETA, including children and babies.
You’ll usually get a decision within 3 working days, but you may get a quicker decision.
It may take longer than 3 working days if we need to make further checks.
How much it costs
An ETA will cost £10 per applicant.
How you’ll get your ETA
You’ll get an email confirmation if your application is approved.
We’ll link your ETA electronically to the passport you applied with. You must use the same passport to travel.
After you get your ETA
Your ETA will last for 2 years. If your passport expires in less than 2 years, you’ll need to get a new ETA.
You can use it to make multiple visits to the UK. You still need to either use an ePassport gate if you’re eligible or see a Border Force officer to enter the UK.
An ETA does not guarantee entry to the UK.
If you’re refused an ETA
You need to apply for either a:
Standard Visitor visa to visit the UK
Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa to come to the UK as a creative worker
transit visa to transit through the UK