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October 16, 2023

UK to Launch Electronic Travel Authorisation on October 25 in

The United Kingdom is set to launch a travel authorisation requirement – the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) – this month for visitors from Qatar.

As the UK authorities have explained, ETA is set to launch on October 25 in a trial with nationals of Qatar who will officially need authorisation to travel to the UK from November 15, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

ETA is a new requirement that will start applying soon to all those who do not need a visa to enter the UK, and by introducing such a requirement, the UK wants to strengthen its security and borders further.

While ETA will launch in less than two weeks in a trial with Qatar nationals, the UK wants to extend the scheme to other Gulf states subsequently.

As the UK government has revealed, nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE will be required to get an ETA from February 22, 2024. The same authority stressed that more countries will be added later to the scheme, including EU countries.

Once ETA becomes fully operational, those who are required to obtain the document will be allowed to enter and stay in the territory of the UK for up to three months on the Creative Worker visa concession.

Moreover, those holding an ETA will also be allowed to transit through the UK.

Explaining the application process, the government said that the application for an ETA will need to be made on the UK ETA app or online on the official website of the government.

The processing time for an ETA will be as short as three working days. Nonetheless, the authorities have emphasised that depending on the need for further checks on certain applicants, it might take longer.

You’ll usually get a decision within three working days, but you may get a quicker decision. It may take longer than three working days if we need to make further checks.

UK Government

While the price for an ETA is expected to be much lower than when applying for a visa, the exact cost is yet to be disclosed.

Several other countries have similar systems in place, requiring foreigners who do not need a visa to apply for authorisation.

The EU is expected to launch the European Travel Information and Authorisation (ETIAS) in 2025, with officials confirming for SchengenVisaInfo.com that the ETIAS go-live date has officially been delayed to May 2025.

Nationals of more than 60 countries who can enter the EU visa-free will be required to apply for the ETIAS.