Ever since the referendum in 2016, EU citizens, including Swedish nationals, have been wondering about how Brexit would affect travel to and from the United Kingdom.
The pre-Brexit agreements state that Swedish travellers do not need a visa in order to enter the UK. Although that’s unlikely to change, new processes are being implemented for foreign nationals who wish to visit Britain.
Do Swedish Citizens Need an eTA for the United Kingdom?
As mentioned before, it is unlikely that Swedish passport holders will need a traditional visa for the UK.
However, most foreign nationals must obtain an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for the UK in order to cross the British border without a visa. The eTA is an electronic permit or visa waiver that allows eligible citizens to obtain permission to enter the British territory without having to apply for a visa first.
The eTA authorisation can be obtained online and allows short-term trips for tourism and business purposes. Once Brexit is finalised, the eTA UK is likely to be extended to Swedish and other EEA (European Economic Area) citizens.
Those who wish to stay long-term in the UK or carry out activities not covered by the eTA may have to apply for a relevant visa.
How to Apply for an eTA UK From Sweden
As the UK eTA is not a visa, it does not require Swedish nationals to visit a British embassy or consulate in person in order to apply. The entire application process can be completed online.
Swedish petitioners only need to make sure to have access to a reliable internet connection. Provided that, they can apply from anywhere in the world including their home, office, or on the go.
The eTA UK application is designed to be easy and straightforward and only takes minutes to submit. Each applicant must fill out their own individual request but it is possible for Swedish citizens to assist their family members or friends as they complete their application.
Once the traveller has filled out the application form and uploaded the relevant supporting documents, they will be asked to pay for the eTA processing fee, which must be paid by credit or debit card. Once the application is finalised, Swedish citizens will receive their approved eTA via email.
eTA UK Requirements for Swedish Passport Holders
The eTA system is intended to make travelling and border control hassle-free. For that reason, it is a completely electronic, easy-to-complete process.
However, Swedish applicants must make sure to meet the eTA UK entry requirements. Failure to comply may result in their request being denied or the eTA being deemed invalid at the airport.
Find below the eTA requirements for Swedish citizens:
- A valid Swedish passport
- The completion of the eTA application form
- The payment of the eTA application fee
It is paramount that petitioners fill out the eTA application form in its entirety. All the entered information must be accurate and complete. Should there be discrepancies between the answers in the questionnaire and the information reported, for example, in the traveller’s documents, the eTA may be deemed invalid.
Questions in the application form may include the following:
- Passport information, including the document’s number, place and date of issue, and expiration
- Personal information, including the applicant’s full name and date of birth
- Contact details such as home and email address and telephone number
- Travel plans and address in the UK
Swedish eTA holders must make sure to enter Britain with the same Swedish passport they used during the application process. That is because the eTA UK and the passport are directly linked. Should the passport expire before the eTA does, for example, an eTA application must be started afresh with the new passport.
It is important that Swedish visitors become familiar with the conditions of their eTA authorisation for the UK. For example, they should check the validity of the eTA and the maximum permitted stay on British soil in order to avoid overstaying the authorisation. Moreover, eTA holders should check what activities they are allowed to take part in while in the UK under an eTA.
How Long Does It Take to Get the UK eTA From Sweden?
Generally speaking, electronic travel authorisations are usually much faster to obtain than traditional visas.
The UK eTA online application in itself only takes minutes. The questionnaire is easy to complete and the supporting documentation can be uploaded in electronic format.
Once the request is finalised, it takes the UK authorities just a few business days to review the application and make a decision. Visitors should check their inbox regularly for updates on their application and to see if they have received the approved eTA.
The short processing times allow for last-minute travel plans. However, Swedish nationals should apply some days in advance to allow for potential delays. These are rare and are usually caused by bank holidays or incomplete applications (for example, when information or documents are missing.)