The UK’s ETA scheme

The UK Government is in the process of introducing a new scheme, called the ETA (electronic travel authorisation), which will allow overseas visitors to travel to and/or transit through the UK without needing to apply for a visa.

The scheme is being introduced in phases and currently only applies to nationals of Qatar. It will be extended to nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from February 2024. Nationals of all ages from these countries will need to get an ETA, including children and babies.

The ETA will cost £10, be electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and last for two years, or until the passport expires. Visitors can apply online at GOV.UK or via the UK ETA app with decisions expected to be made within three working days.

The scheme is due to be rolled out more widely to other visa-exempt nations from 2024, including the EU, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Anyone returning to the UK from a holiday or trip overseas who already has a visa, has permission to live, work or study in the UK, or has a British or Irish passport will not need to apply for an ETA.  

For more information, visit These videos from the Home Office also explain what an ETA is and how to apply for one.