The UK Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Belgian citizens is a planned digital visa waiver that will be implemented once the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) completes its transition period and leaves the European Union (EU).
Nationals of Belgium are currently exempt from having to apply for a UK visa and this situation will continue when the country is no longer part of the European bloc.
The eTA system will be part of the UK’s new immigration and visa policies after Brexit and will be an extra entry requirement for travellers from visa-exempt countries like Belgium.
Do Belgian Citizens Need an eTA for the United Kingdom?
Belgium forms part of the European Union and all EU nationals are able to visit the UK without a visa. When the eTA system is launched, they will be required to register their details in order to enjoy this visa exemption.
Belgian citizens will have to obtain the UK Electronic Travel Authorization to enter the UK for the purposes of tourism and business.
The UK eTA will be valid for short stays. Different visas or permits may be required for Belgians who intend to remain in the country in the long term, particularly if they plan to work.
How to Obtain an eTA for the UK as a Belgian
Belgian nationals planning to travel to the UK will have to obtain the Electronic Travel Authorization online.
Travellers with a passport issued by Belgium must complete the UK eTA online application form. This involves entering the following basic information:
- Personal details (full name, nationality, date of birth, etc.)
- Contact information (email address, telephone number, home address, etc.)
- Passport details (number, date of issue, date of expiry, etc.)
- Travel plans
- Address of accommodation in the UK
The online application form means that Belgian visitors do not need to make an appointment at a British embassy or consulate in order to obtain travel authorization; instead, they may apply from the comfort of their home or office.
The eTA system to the UK is designed to facilitate the application process and is simple to use. Filling in the form typically takes a matter of minutes.
Once a Belgian applicant submits their online form, it can take up to a few business days to be processed. The approved eTA is delivered to the email address provided in the application.
UK eTA Requirements From Belgium
Belgian citizens must meet the UK eTA entry requirements in order to apply for and obtain this travel authorization.
The following items are required to complete the online eTA application form:
- Valid biometric Belgian passport
- Current email address
- Payment method (credit or debit card)
When the Belgian traveller reaches the UK border, they must present the same passport used to apply for the eTA. If the passport is lost, stolen, damaged, or otherwise rendered invalid, it may be necessary to reapply using the new passport. This is because the passport details on the eTA must match the document used to enter the country.
Visitors from Belgium are obliged to comply with the terms and conditions of the eTA. They may not stay in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for a time exceeding that permitted by the Electronic Travel Authorization. It is prohibited to engage in activities not covered by the eTA, such as employment in any of the constituent countries of the UK.
eTA to the UK From Belgium: Validity and Stay
The UK eTA will be valid for a single entry to the country.
It will enable Belgian visitors to travel to any of the 4 constituent countries of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Under current plans, they will be able to remain in the UK for up to 6 months (180 days).
Other Documentation for Belgian Citizens Travelling to the UK
Belgian nationals must have 2 documents in order to enter the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the purposes of tourism, leisure, or business. These are:
- The eTA for the UK
- A valid Belgian passport
To acquire a UK eTA, travellers from Belgium need to complete and submit an online application form, including information about their travel itinerary and the address of their UK-based accommodation while in the country. A current email address and payment method must also be provided.
Currently, citizens of EU countries, including Belgium have the right to live and work in the UK. However, once the country has left the EU and the transition period is over, Belgian nationals planning to relocate to the UK and/or seeking work in the country may require additional documentation.