In addition to those who can register the UK eTA, it is also possible for some foreign nationals to obtain an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW). The EVW and the eTA for the UK are 2 distinctly different documents and have specific eligibility requirements for applicants.
To help prospective visitors avoid confusion between these two types of travel document, this page looks at who can apply for an EVW and what its requirements are. It also covers the key differences travellers may encounter between this visa waiver and an eTA.
More information about the EVW for UK on the https://www.evw.uk/ website.
What is the difference between the UK EVW and eTA?
At present, the UK eTA has not launched yet. However, when it does it is expected to be more widely available and flexible to use than the EVW. The EVW has some additional requirements that the Electronic Travel Authorization is not currently stated to have.
For instance, when it launches the eTa will be able to be used for:
- Multiple visits to Britain
- Short visits for business and tourism purposes
The EVW is also used for tourism and business purposes of travel. Nevertheless, it differs from the UK eTA as it requires applicants to:
- Obtain a visa waiver for each visit to the UK
- Notify the UK immigration authorities if travel itineraries or arrival times change
Who can apply for an EVW for the UK?
The EVW for the UK can only be used by nationals of 4 Middle Eastern countries. It is not possible to apply for this form of visa waiver if the applicant is eligible for an eTA. However, like the UK Electronic Travel Authorization the process is fully managed online for eligible nationals.
Passport holders from the following countries can apply for an EVW for the UK:
- The United Arab Emirates
This differs significantly from the eTA which is expected to be available for more than 60 nationalities at launch. At present, the UK government has indicated that the following passport holders may be eligible for the proposed system:
- Non-visa nationals (NVN)
- European Economic Area (EEA) nationals
How to register for the UK EVW
EVW applicants must provide a range of personal, passport and travel data when registering online for this form of visa waiver. During the application process, eligible nationals must enter their:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Travel itinerary: including dates and times of travel
- Accommodation address in the UK
Once submitted, and assuming there are no errors or discrepancies, an EVW can be processed in around 72 hours. After approval, it is sent directly to the applicant via their registered email address where it can be printed off or stored digitally before arrival in the UK.
Updating EVW travel data before arriving in the UK
Travellers must inform the UK authorities if their plans change after they’ve been approved for a UK EVW. This is because the visa waiver’s details inform the UK border authorities of the traveller’s precise arrival time.
If the originally stated travel plans diverge from what is entered on an EVW at the time of application this information must be updated before travelling. This will be essential if one of the following situations occurs:
- You decide to travel to Britain at a different time
- You must travel from a different airport or port of departure
- You will arrive in the UK over 8 hours later than originally stated