What is the ETA? Everything we know so far about the UK’s new digital border scheme
Visitors from Europe, Australia, the US and Canada will soon be required to apply for permission to enter the UK.
Known as Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), the Home Office intends to introduce the scheme by the end of 2023. The system is part of the UK’s plan to fully digitise its borders by 2025.
Visitors will need to fill in an online application form that will grant them permission to enter the UK. Most will be able to apply using a mobile app with a swift decision on their application, according to the government.
You’ll need a valid biometric passport from an eligible country, travel details, an email address and a credit or debit card. You will also have to answer a set of suitability questions.
Like the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) in the US, a small fee will be attached to the application process. It isn’t clear yet how much it will cost but similar schemes in other countries range from €5 to €20 and the UK has said it will be in line with this.
Travellers are advised to apply a at least few days before their planned journey and approval should be granted within 72 hours.
From October 2023, visitors from Qatar will be the first to be able to apply for the UK’s new ETA scheme.
Visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Jordan will be the next group from February 2024.
It will then be rolled out worldwide through the year with the ETA becoming a requirement by the end of 2024.
Will I need a visa to enter the UK?
So, what now?
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