UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme coming soon

European Travel Authorisation

The UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme (ETA) is due to launch in October. The phased roll out will start with visitors from Qatar, and be worldwide by 2024.

The ETA will cost visitors to the country £10 and will operate in a similar way to the existing ESTA system for non-visa travellers to the US.

Here are the launch timelines;

  • October 2023: Qatar
  • February 2024: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states & Jordan
  • 2024: Worldwide expansion (including the US, EU, except for Ireland)

Travellers will apply for an ETA online or via mobile app, and once granted, it will allow the person to visit the UK multiple times over a two-year period.

Applicants will have to provide personal and biometric details including a digital photograph and answer a “set of suitability questions”.

The cost of £10 is competitive with similar schemes such as the US ESTA, now at $21 for 2 years, and the EU ETIAS at €7 for three years. The launch date for the EU ETIAS has been delayed until 2024.