The UK Government have confirmed that from October 2023 there will be a phased roll out of the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme.
The ETA scheme will apply to those passengers visiting or transiting the UK, who do not currently need a visa for short stays or do not have a valid UK immigration status prior to travelling. Those who need a visa to come to visit, study or work in the UK will not be eligible for an ETA.
The ETA scheme will enhance the UK Government’s ability to screen travellers and prevent the travel of those who pose a threat to the UK, making the UK safer. If granted, an ETA only provides permission to travel to the UK, it does not confer leave to enter the UK.
The ETA scheme will be rolled out in phases, on a nationality by nationality basis. The ETA scheme opened on 25 October for nationals of Qatar who intend to travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. Nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia will be able to apply for an ETA from 1 February 2024, which can be used for travel on or after 22 February 2024. The UK Government will provide an update on which nationality will be next to benefit from the ETA scheme in due course. Ample time will be provided to ensure all those who will require an ETA are made aware of the changes well in advance.
It has been confirmed that people in the Falkland Islands who hold either a British passport or British Overseas Territory Citizens (BOTC) passport will be exempt from the requirement to obtain an ETA. At the point of travel British Citizens and BOTCs will need to produce a BOTC or British Citizen passport, as they currently do, to demonstrate their status.
While exempt from the ETA requirement, BOTCs who are not British Citizens, and/or those who cannot produce evidence of their British Citizenship, will continue to be subject to immigration control on arrival at UK border control. As currently required BOTC holders who wish to live, work or study in the UK must obtain the relevant visa to do this.
Information on Electronic Travel Authorisation and which nationals are required to complete the document can be found on: