This article is reviewed regularly by Wego‘s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Reviewed April 2024

The UK government announced that the United Kingdom will soon require travelers from visa-free countries to obtain a UK entry permit document called the ETA UK for entry into the country. The introduction of this new scheme aims to improve UK border control measures and optimize its entry and exit processes as part of a broader “permission to travel” policy.

Read as Wego covers everything you need to know about ETA UK.

What is ETA UK?


An Electronic Travel Authorisation, or ETA UK, is a new requirement for travellers who do not need a visa to come to the UK. It allows visitors to travel to the UK and is electronically linked to their passports. An ETA UK is required 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 travellers not going through UK border control

The UK travel permit will be valid for two years or until the individual’s visa expires, whichever comes sooner. It will also allow travellers multiple trips to the UK.

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ETA UK requirements

Below are the required documents you must provide to apply for the ETA UK.

  • your passport
  • your email address
  • credit or debit card

Furthermore, according to the officials, as a part of the ETA UK application process, travellers must provide biometric details and answer a set of suitability questions. This will ensure we have information on those seeking to come to the UK, helping to prevent dangerous individuals, such as criminals, from entering the UK.

Eligible countries

The following are some of the countries that require and do not require an ETA to travel to the UK:

Countries that require ETA UK

Nationals from the following countries travelling to the UK will require an ETA:

  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

The application process for the countries above began on February 1, 2024. It took the place of Electronic Visa Waivers (EVWs), which require travelers to the UK from GCC states to pay a higher cost for a single-use visit.

By the end of 2024, ETAs will be a requirement worldwide for visitors who do not need a visa for short stays, including those visiting from Europe. Visitors from Europe and other nations, including America and Australia, do not currently need to make any form of application to visit the UK.

Please note that we will update the list as and when more nationalities are added to the scheme.

Countries that do not require ETA UK

Applicants will not need an ETA if they have either:

  • a British or Irish passport
  • permission to live, work or study in the UK
  • a visa to enter the UK

Moreover, travellers who are legal residents of Ireland and do not need a visa to visit the UK will also not need an ETA if they’re entering the UK from either:

  • Ireland
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Isle of Man

ETA UK application

Application process

Step 1: Download the UK ETA app

Download the UK ETA application from the Google Play Store or the App Store to initiate your ETA application. Alternatively, you visit the official website of GOV.UK.

Step 2: Upload the required documents

Depending on your chosen application method, you’ll need to provide a clear image of the photo page of your passport. If applying through the mobile app, take a photo of your passport’s photo page directly within the app. If applying online, upload a high-quality photo of your passport.

Moreover, if you’re using the mobile app and your passport has a biometric chip, position your phone over the passport’s front cover. The app will automatically scan the chip for the necessary information.

Step 3: Capture your photo

Capture a recent photo of yourself using the app’s camera if you’re applying via the mobile app. For online applicants, upload a suitable photo from your device. Ensure that your face is clearly visible in the photograph.

Step 4: Answer prompt questions

Follow the on-screen instructions and answer any prompted questions about your travel details and personal information. Make sure to provide accurate and complete information.

Step 5: Payment

Finalize your application by making the required payment using a credit card, debit card, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. Ensure that your payment details are accurate and up-to-date.

After submitting your application, you will receive an ETA reference number and an email confirming your application. When they have made a decision, you will receive an email to confirm the outcome. The ETA will be electronically linked to the passport you applied with. Please make sure to use the same passport when traveling.

Please note that each traveller, including children, must get their own ETA.

Processing time

Travellers can usually get a decision on their ETA UK application within 3 working days, or they may even get a quicker decision.

However, it may also take longer than 3 working days if the authorities need to make further checks.


The UK’s new ETA will cost visitors to the country GBP 10 (USD 12.50).

ETA UK validity

According to the GOV.UK website, an ETA is valid for two years. However, if an applicant’s passport expires in less than two years, they will be required to get a new ETA for entry into the UK.

Holders of the ETA UK can use it to make multiple visits to the UK. Nonetheless, they are still required to either use an ePassport gate if they are eligible or see a Border Force officer to enter the UK.

Please note that an ETA does not guarantee entry to the UK.


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