When will the UK introduce the ETA?
The UK is amending its visa and travel regime to introduce an ETA – electronic travel authorisation – which will start to take effect in November of 2023. This ETA will be a requirement for people who don’t otherwise need a visa to visit the UK and will be linked to the individual's passport. When it’s fully operational, arriving passengers will apply online and pay £10 each. It could take up to 3 days for an applicant to be approved. The new authorisation will roll out gradually, including passport holders of more and more countries as it develops.
Will the UK ETA apply to transit passengers?
Here’s where it gets sticky… the rule, as currently written, will apply to passengers stopping off in, say, London, in transit to a third country. That’s a third of all passengers using Heathrow. So if you're a family of three making your way via Heathrow to Oslo, with a short layover, you'll pay £30 for the privilege of switching planes.
A lot of transit passengers will find an easier hub to use like Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Paris.
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Which countries need to use the ETA?
When the ETA is fully operational, it will affect ALL passengers except British and Irish nationals. However, it is being rolled out gradually. A trial will begin on November 15th with nationals of Qatar and then the scope widens in February 2024 to include passport holders from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE. The UK government has not yet announced when other nationalities will be affected.
What if I have a visa for the UK?
If you hold a visa that permits you enter the UK or otherwise have permission to live (or work, or study) in the UK, then you are not impacted by the ETA.
What exemptions are there to the UK's ETA?
Apart from visa holders, passengers who hold a British or Irish passport are exempt, as well as people arriving from Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
How will passengers apply for an ETA?
There will be a UK ETA app that people should use, or an online application form. The authorities predict a decision within 3 working days. It will cost £10 per person and everyone needs an ETA, including children and babies. And yes, the cost will apply to every passenger.
How long will an ETA last?
Each ETA lasts for 2 years. If, however, your passport were to expire during the period, the ETA will also expire, as it's attached to your passport. The ETA will cover multiple visits.
Where can I find more details on the UK's ETA?
There's further information available from the UK Government website, which you can find here.
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