How to Apply for a UK ETA?

The UK has recently introduced an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals including Saudi Arabia. The ETA is a digital authorization for travel to the United Kingdom.

Who can Apply for a UK ETA?

The UK ETA scheme is open to nationals of the following countries and would allow them to stay in the UK for a period of 90 days;

  • Bahrain.
  • Jordan.
  • Kuwait.
  • Oman.
  • Qatar.
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • United Arab Emirates.

Who doesn’t need a UK ETA?

If you are not a national of any of the countries listed above. You can apply for a UK visit visa from Saudi Arabia. A UK ETA is not required for those;

  • Holding a visa.
  • Permission to live, work, or study in the UK.
  • British or Irish passport holders.
  • British overseas territories passport holders.

Cost of the UK ETA

The application fee for an ETA is £10 and applies to all travelers, including infants and children. Applications can be made on behalf of others, and refunds are not available once an application has been submitted.

Steps to apply for a UK Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA):

1- Fill Out the Application Form

  • Download the mobile app for the UK ETA.
  • Open the application form online.
  • Complete the Application Form by entering your personal details, including your name, date of birth, and nationality.
  • Provide your passport information, such as passport number, issue date, and expiry date.
  • Answer questions about your intended trip to the UK and your previous travel history.
  • Submit a Recent Personal Photo and then upload a recent, clear, passport-sized photo and also ensure the photo is in color, unedited, and between 50KB and 10MB.

2- Pay the Application Fee

   – Enter your bank card details, including card number, expiry date, cardholder name, and CVV code and then complete the payment process online.

3- Receive the Decision:

  • Wait for the UK Home Office to review your application.
  • If approved, you will receive a confirmation email to the address you provided.
  • Your ETA will be valid for multiple trips to the UK as long as it remains valid.

By following these easy steps, you can successfully obtain a UK ETA.

How long does it take to get an ETA?

Typically, applicants will receive a decision within 3 working days. However, on occasion, it may take longer than 3 working days to process an application.

What to do if an ETA application is refused?

If an application for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is denied, the applicant cannot request an administrative review or appeal against the decision. However, it is important to note that a refusal of an ETA does not necessarily mean that the applicant has been denied entry to the UK. It simply means that they cannot use the ETA to travel to the UK. Depending on their individual circumstances, they may still be able to apply for a visa to visit the UK and submit additional supporting documents to strengthen their case.

Validity of ETA

An ETA is valid for two years, during which time the traveller can enter the United Kingdom an unlimited number of times. However, the duration of stay within one entry cannot exceed 90 days.

In other words, the tourist must leave the UK at least every 90 days. In the event that the traveler obtains a new passport, a new ETA must be obtained. 

What should employers do now?

Employers should take note of the new ETA requirements for colleagues based outside the UK who regularly visit the UK or are responsible for business travel to the country. This is particularly important if any of the colleagues are nationals of the countries listed above.

For businesses with executives and employees who frequently travel to the UK at short notice, including those from the EU or the US, obtaining an ETA will be a crucial addition to their travel planning checklists once the new rules go live. If you have any questions about the ETA system or need assistance with an upcoming UK visa application or UK immigration compliance and planning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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