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The United Kingdom has introduced the issuance of Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETA) for citizens of visa-exempt countries. Qatar is at the forefront of this initiative, with its citizens gaining the ability to apply for an ETA as of 25 October 2023. According to Wego’s research, Qatari nationals traveling to the UK on or after 15 November 2023 will mandatorily be required to obtain an ETA. 

ETA for Qatari Citizens

Qatari citizens are allowed visa-free travel to the United Kingdom if their stay is no longer than six months and their purpose of travel is tourism, business, study, or medical treatment. However, Qatari citizens traveling to the UK must now apply for an ETA. This replaces the previous Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) program. 

As previously stated, the application process for ETA for Qatari citizens commenced on 25 October 2023, and these ETAs are mandatory for Qatari nationals embarking on trips to the UK starting 15 November 2023 or after.

Application for the ETA can be submitted through the official website of the UK government. The application entails a fee of GBP 10 per applicant. Once granted, the ETA allows for multiple journeys and remains valid for two years or until the holder’s passport expires, depending on which comes first.

ETA Program Upcoming Plans

The ETA program was announced in March 2023 as a requirement for individuals traveling visa-free to the United Kingdom. The scheme is expected to be implemented in a phased manner over the next two years. 

After announcing Qatar as the first nation to utilize this scheme, the ETA program will reportedly be rolled out to nationals of other GCC countries, namely Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Citizens of these countries will require an ETA to travel to the UK on or after 22 February 2024 and can apply for the same from 1 February 2024. 

Moreover, in due course of time, more countries are expected to be added to the ETA program.