UNITED KINGDOM – ETA System Launches

October 24, 2023

Applications for the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system open on 25 October as part of a pilot launch program.

The ETA is a pre-screening system for passport holders bound for the United Kingdom from countries who have visa-waiver agreements with the UK. Under the ETA system, visitors will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to:

  • Six months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or study, or;
  • Three months under the creative worker visa concession.

Additionally, an ETA will be required if a traveler is transiting through the UK, but not going through the UK border control.

Initially, only citizens of Qatar will need to apply for an ETA, for any travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries, plus Jordan, will need ETAs for any travel on or after 22 February 2024, with applications from those countries opening on 1 February. Citizens from other visa-exempt countries will not need to apply for an ETA, though UK immigration officials state additional countries will be added to the scheme in the future.

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.