ETA – Electronic Travel Authorisation

Photo by Isaac Struna on Unsplash

Persons who do not need a visa to travel to the UK will soon have to meet the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) requirement. The ETA will give a person permission to travel to the UK and is electronically linked to the person’s passport.

The ETA is valid for two years. However, if your passport expires in less than two years, you have to apply for a new one.

Who will need an ETA to travel to the UK?

  • Persons travelling to the UK for up to six months for tourism, to visit family or friends.
  • Holders of the Creative Worker Visa concession coming to the UK for up to three months.
  • Persons who have to transit through the UK, including those not going through the UK Border Control.

Nationalities who need an ETA

From 15 November 2023, all nationals of Qatar, travelling to the UK will need an ETA.

From 22 February 2024, all nationals from the following countries will need an ETA:

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

The UK Government will add more nationalities to the scheme at a later stage.

Who will NOT need an ETA to travel to the UK?

You will not need an Electronic Travel Authorisation if you have one of the following:

  • British or Irish passport
  • Permission to live, work or study in the UK
  • A visa to enter the UK
  • Persons who are legally resident in Ireland, and who do not need a visa for the UK, will need an ETA if they are entering the UK from either Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey or Isle Man.

How to apply

It is an electronic application process. Every person has to get their own ETA, including dependents and minors. The confirmation of your ETA will be via email, and it will be linked to the passport electronically.


Persons who are refused an ETA will have to apply for a UK Visa, linked to the reason for your travel to the UK. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for more information, should you get a refusal and need to apply for a UK Visa or Permit.