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The UK’s new ETA scheme is being phased in

The UK government is phasing in a new travel scheme. It will require people travelling to the UK without a visa to need to get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). An ETA is a digital permission to travel.

This scheme is a new requirement for permission to travel to the UK which has been phased in since November 2023. This is not a visa, and entry requirements into the UK will remain unchanged. British and Irish passport holders do not need an ETA.

Visitors will need an ETA to:

  • come to the UK for up to six months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or study
  • come to the UK for up to three months on the Creative Worker visa concession
  • transit through the UK – including when not going through UK border control
Find more information on ETAs on gov.uk

1. What is an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)?

If you want to share anything with your visitors, the UK Government has created the video "What is an Electronic Travel Authorisation?". It provides a quick overview of the scheme and who will need one. This should help visitors to prepare for their future travel.

2. Who needs to get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)?

The ETA scheme is currently being implemented in a phased manner, on a nationality basis, over the next two years. It will eventually apply to most visitors to the UK, including babies and children, who:

  • do not need a visa for stays of less than six months
  • do not have any other immigration status prior to travelling

Visitors need to get an ETA if travelling to the UK and are a national of:

  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UK Government will provide further details of which countries will be rolled out next in due course. 

An ETA costs £10 per applicant. It will allow multiple journeys and will be valid for two years or until the holder’s passport expires – whichever is sooner.

A full briefing of who it will apply to, how to make an application, cost, and other information is available on the UK Government website.

Find more information on ETAs on gov.uk

3. Useful information on the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)

An ETA is not a visa. It does not permit entry into the UK. It authorises an individual to travel to the UK.

If an individual intends to visit the UK for longer than six months, they will need to obtain a relevant visa. They may also need a visa for stays of less than six months for purposes other than visit, transit and some business visits.

Check if you need a visa on gov.uk.

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