Qatari nationals could apply for ETA since October 25, 2023, using a mobile app for convenience. The UK is simplifying travel for its Gulf visitors, as the nation welcomed nearly 800,000 from the region last year.
Starting on February 22, 2024, nationals from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan will also require an ETA for UK visits, with the application process beginning on February 1, 2024.
The ETA replaces the existing Electronic Visa Waivers, offering benefits like reduced fees (£10) and allowing unlimited visits over two years or until passport expiration. It eliminates visa requirements for short stays in the UK.
Applicants must provide biographic and biometric data and answer suitability and criminality questions. Once approved, the ETA is digitally linked to the passport.
The standard processing time is three working days, with many applications processed even faster. The UK is collaborating with carriers for a smooth ETA rollout.
The ETA system will expand globally, including for those not currently requiring UK visas. More details on expansion to other nationalities will be provided later.