UNITED KINGDOM – An ETA is now required for some nationalities

June 14, 2024

By: Hannah In-Chan

Following implementation of the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system in November 2023, this update provides a summary of the current requirements.

Purpose of the ETA

An ETA is advance permission to travel to, or transit through the UK, for those who do not currently need to obtain a visa, or do not have a UK immigration status. An ETA approval will facilitate multiple entries.

Who needs an ETA?

Individuals visiting the UK who do not need a visa for stays of less than six months and do not meet one of the below exemptions:

  • UK or Irish nationals
  • Individuals who hold a UK entry visa or residence permit
  • Individuals who hold an Irish permit and do not need a visa to enter the UK
  • Non-UK nationals who need an issued visa to enter the UK

For example, a US national, who lives in the US, and is coming to attend a business meeting in London will need an ETA when this is implemented for US nationals.

It should be noted that an ETA, where required, is necessary for airside transit as well as visiting the UK.


Once approved, the ETA will be valid from the date of approval for either two years or until the expiry of the passport, whichever is shorter.


Applications for the ETA can be submitted online on cibtvisas.com. Approvals will be sent to the applicant via email. Applications should take no more than 3 working days from the date of submission, but if the UK authorities have any questions, processing can take longer. We recommend applications be submitted at least 30 days before.

Documents required

The applicant’s passport must be valid for a minimum of three months after the intended departure date from the UK and should not be more than 10 years old.

Implementation timeline

Nationals from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia and the UAE are required to obtain ETA approval before travel. Additional countries will be implemented throughout 2024, with the aim of every non-visa national requiring an ETA by the end of 2024.


This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.