ETA is a pre-clearance permit required by non-British/non-Irish nationals arriving as visitors into the UK who do not require a UK visa (national of a country not on this list) e.g. EU/EFTA (excluding Ireland), Japan, Canada and USA.
Start date: varies by nationality In effect: nationals of Qatar 22 February 2024: nationals of other GCC countries and Jordan (apply from 1 February)Before 2025 (date to be announced): other nationals worldwide who do not require a UK visitor visa e.g. EU/EFTA (excluding Ireland), Japan, Canada and USA. Announcement on start date is currently expected in spring 2024 and anticipated to be in autumn/winter 2024.
For nationals of GCC countries an ETA replaces the electronic visa waiver. There is currently no change for other nationals who require a UK visitor visa moving to visa waiver status as a result of ETA.
Implementing country: United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)
Applicable to: non-British/non-Irish nationals arriving as visitors into the UK, who do not require a UK visa (national of a country not on this list). An ETA is also required when transiting the UK and remain in international transit area.
Exemption: Non-British/non-Irish nationals resident in Ireland who do not require a UK visitor visa are exempt when travelling to the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) from Ireland or elsewhere in the Common Travel Area (CTA). An ETA is required if arriving into the UK from outside the CTA. To prove residency in Ireland, these documents are accepted.
Cost: £10 per person (payable by all ages). The revenue will be used to cover costs and invest in the UK border system.
Validity: 2 years or until expiration of travel document i.e. passport, whichever is sooner. Multiple entries are permitted during period of validity. An ETA allows travel to all countries in the UK and is linked to the travel document i.e. passport.
Application process: Either via dedicated mobile app or online (process differs between mobile app and online). When applying via mobile app a photo of the traveller and their passport is taken and for ages 10+ also a facial biometric. When applying online a photo of the traveller and their passport is required to be uploaded. Most applications are reviewed within 1 hour, but may take up to 3 working days. Third parties are permitted to apply on behalf of a traveller (applications should be made online where the traveller is not present).
Official website (including how to apply online or download app): UK Government ETA webpage