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Introducing the New Electronic Visa

14 June 2023
Introducing the New Electronic Visa

The UK government is introducing a new electronic visa (ETA – Electronic Travel Authorisation). It will impose an extra step on people who do not currently need a visa to visit the UK.

Currently, nationals of some countries and regions are not required to have a visa for their short-term visit to the UK, such as for tourism, business, visiting families and friends or exempt short-term work.

From 15 November 2023, you will be required to have an ETA if you are traveling to the UK and you are a national of Qatar. You will be able to apply from 25 October 2023.

From 22 February 2024, if you are a national of the following countries you will need an ETA if you are travelling to the UK:

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

More nationalities will be added to the scheme later.
If the following apply, you will need an ETA to:

  • You will be coming to the UK for up to 6 months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or study.
  • You will be coming to the UK for up to 3 months on the Creative worker visa concession. A creative worker is usually someone who works in the creative industries, for example an actor, dancer, musician or film crew member.
  • You will be transiting through the UK – this includes if you are not going through UK border control.

If you need an ETA you will need to apply via the UK ETA app or online on GOV.UK. Each traveller must get their own ETA, including children and babies and a decision is usually made within 3 working days. If there are further checks that need to be carried out it may take longer.

There is a cost of £10 per application for an ETA. Once approved an email confirmation will be sent confirming that the application has been approved and your ETA will be linked electronically to your passport. The passport that is used when applying for the ETA should be used for travelling to the UK.

An ETA will last for 2 years. Should your passport expire during the 2 years, then you will need to get a new ETA. You may visit the UK on multiple occasions, and you still will need to use an ePassport date if eligible or see a Border Force officer to enter the UK.

If you are refused an ETA, then you will need to either apply for a standard visitor visa, temporary work-creative worker visa or transit visa to enter the UK, whichever is applicable. You should note that the scheme does not affect people who are holding a British or Irish passport or have permission to live, work or study in the UK or a visa to enter the UK.

To discuss your visa options to travel to the UK contact our immigrations solicitors on 0207 903 6889 or email contact@davenportsolicitors.com.

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