Do Italian citizens need a visa to enter the UK?
EU nationals, including Italian passport holders, do not need a visa to cross the UK border.
However, foreigners who can enter the UK without a visa still need to register with the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation for the UK) system. This will apply to Italians and other citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The eTA allows eligible foreign nationals to enter British territory for tourism and business purposes for short-term stays.
How to obtain an eTA for the UK as an Italian
The eTA system is intended to speed up the process of registering with the UK authorities prior to travelling to the country. Since it is not a visa, it does not require applicants to request an appointment with a British embassy or consulate nor do Italians need to complete long paperwork.
In order to receive an electronic authorisation for the UK, Italian nationals must fill out an online application. The whole eTA application can be completed in minutes from the comfort of one’s home or office. Italian passport holders simply need a device that can connect to the internet.
Once they have finalised their application, they can submit the request online and wait for the UK authorities to review it. If the information and documents provided are complete and correct, petitioners can expect their approved UK eTA in a few business days or even hours.
The eTA will be sent directly to the visitor via email, at the address provided during the application. It can then be presented to cross the British border upon arrival, together with the passport used to complete the online eTA request.
UK eTA requirements from Italy
Before applying for their authorisation, Italians must make sure that they meet all the eTA requirements and conditions set for Great Britain. Failure to comply may result in the application being denied.
The eTA requirements for Italian citizens include:
- Holding a valid Italian passport.
- Filling out the online application form with accurate information.
- Paying the relevant eTA fee.
Moreover, Italians must abide by the conditions of their eTA. For example, they cannot stay in the UK after the authorisation expires unless they obtain a new relevant travel permit, or they can only carry out activities permitted by the eTA while on British soil.
Moreover, they must travel to the UK with the same passport they used during the application. Presenting a different passport at the border may result in the eTA being deemed invalid.
As part of the eTA requirements, all the fields in the application questionnaire must be filled out. Questions may include:
- Personal information such as full name and date of birth.
- Passport data such as document number and date of issue and expiration.
- Contact details such as home and email address and telephone number.
- Travel itinerary and an address in the UK.
UK eTA Visa Waiver documents required for citizens of Italy
The entire application can be completed online and the supporting documentation can also be provided in digital format.
The documents that Italians need in order to get a UK electronic travel authorisation include:
- A valid passport issued by the Italian authorities.
- An active email address to receive updates on the status of their application and the approved eTA.
- The completed UK eTA application form.
- A credit or debit card that is enabled for online purchases to pay the application fee.
In rare cases, it is possible that further documents are required depending on the traveller’s specific circumstances. Visitors will be promptly notified should that apply to them.
eTA UK benefits for Italian citizens
The eTA program is intended to be beneficial for both the UK and foreign citizens.
Firstly, eTA allows for better and faster screening processes. This means that British law enforcement will be better equipped to prevent and fight serious crimes such as identity theft, making the UK safer for both British and foreign nationals.
At the same time, the automated system means that Italians will experience faster document checks and reduced queues at the border compared to traditional paper visa screening processes.
Moreover, Italians can benefit greatly from the online application. Compared to traditional visas, the electronic system allows them to submit an application from anywhere in the world as long as they have access to a reliable internet connection. Eligible holidaymakers and business people can even complete an eTA request while on the go in a matter of minutes.
The short processing times also allow Italians to plan last-minute trips as they can apply just a few days before leaving.