A United Kingdom Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) visa waiver is a British entry permit document that can be obtained online. It will allow travellers from eligible nations to visit Great Britain for a number of different purposes without acquiring a full visa.
A visa or a visa waiver is a necessary requirement to enter the UK for most foreign nationals. However, a large number of citizens from eligible countries can prepare to visit Britain via a much simpler online process by travelling with a UK eVisa.
The eTA eliminates the need to visit an embassy or consulate for millions of travellers before they arrive in Britain. Instead, it enables potential visitors to apply for permission to come to the “sceptred isle” in a streamlined manner. This speeds up the entry process into the country for tourists as well as improving UK border security.
Who needs a UK Electronic Travel Authorisation visa waiver to enter Britain?
Currently, the British Home Office is planning to introduce the Electronic Travel Authorization for non-visa nationals (NVN). This is also expected to apply to European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, once Britain has left the EU’s jurisdiction entirely.
If approved, the Electronic Travel Authority will be a requirement for nationals from the following European countries:
Those that meet the eTA UK requirements will be able to apply online for permission to enter Great Britain before travelling. It will permit visitors to experience the UK’s cultural heritage, visit family residing in the country or to spend time in Britain for a number of other purposes.
Citizens from NVN and EEA countries will be able to apply for and enter the United Kingdom with this electronic visa waiver system. The authorization is expected to be a necessary requirement for eligible passport holders travelling to the UK for the following purposes:
However, further to the reasons for travel above, eTA holders are also expected to be able to enter the country for these additional purposes:
- Short term study
- Medical treatment
For all other reasons of travel, such as working or residing long term in Britain, an appropriate visa will need to be obtained instead. Regular UK visas can be acquired from any British embassy or consulate located in the applicant’s home or resident country.
As developments continue to evolve regarding Brexit, this visa waiver could become available for more nationalities. It has been suggested by the UK Home Office that when EU freedom of movement ends in 2021 that visitors from the EU could require an eTA to travel to Britain.
How long does it take to apply?
Obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization online is a quick and easy process. It only takes a few minutes to complete an online application. This can be done anytime up to a few days before departure to the UK.
To apply, applicants will need:
- A valid national biometric passport from an eligible country
- An accommodation address in the UK
- The travel itinerary for a visit
- A valid email address
- A credit or debit card
Before submitting an application for approval be sure to check that you have entered all the required information correctly. Any errors could lead to delays in its processing or even rejection of your eTA (also known as UK eVisa).
Once your information has been sent to the UK your application is normally processed and a response is normally given within 48-72 hours. After the eTA visa waiver has been approved, it entitles the holder a single entry into the country. Visitors will then be allowed to spend 180 days (6 months) in the UK and to visit any part of the country.
Travel smoothly to the UK with your Electronic Travel Authorization
Once the eTA has been approved it can be used to travel to Britain from the date specified during the application process. On arrival, travellers will just need a biometric passport and a digital or paper copy of your approved eTA for the United Kingdom.
Once in the country, visitors will need to present their identifying documents to a member of the UK Border Force. The officer on duty will then check your papers against the information in the system and will allow you to pass through national immigration.