From the end of 2024, European travellers will need an ETA or UK visa to travel to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Applying for an ETA is easier, quicker and cheaper than applying for a visa. To qualify for the ETA, you must meet all the requirements mentioned on this page.

The ETA UK: a mandatory travel authorisation

If you are travelling to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland at the end of 2024 or later, you must apply for an ETA or visa before departure. The ETA is an electronic travel authorisation that is mandatory for all Europeans intending to travel to the UK without a visa from the end of 2024. An ETA is also required if you are only travelling to the UK for a short transfer. Formally, the ETA is not a visa, but a special travel authorisation. You need to apply for the ETA UK before leaving for the UK, as you need to be able to present the travel authorisation upon departure. You can easily make the application, which only takes a few minutes, via this website.

Apply for your ETA for the United Kingdom here

When do you not need an ETA? You do not need to apply for an ETA if you already have a valid UK visa. Residents of Ireland, Irish passport holders and holders of passports issued by one of the UK countries do not need to apply for an ETA either. Furthermore, there is an exception for people who have a UK residence permit (pre-settled or settled status). In all these cases, an ETA is not required for travel to the British Isles.

A guard in a recognisable uniform in front of Buckingham PalaceThe King's Guard at Buckingham Palace in London

Passport requirements

To apply for an ETA UK for your trip to England or any other part of the United Kingdom, you need a valid passport. The passport must have been issued by a country within the European Union, or by a country outside the European Union that the UK has special agreements with, such as Switzerland or Norway. As mentioned above, residents of Ireland and travellers with an Irish passport or a passport issued by one of the countries of the UK may travel to the UK without an ETA.

To apply for an ETA and travel to the UK, you can use either a regular passport or an emergency passport. Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your trip. You cannot apply for an ETA with another travel document, such as an ID card. An ID card is not a valid travel document for travel to the UK.

Conditions to your travel plans

You can use the ETA UK for travel to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The validity period of the ETA is 2 years. You may travel to the UK multiple times within this validity period. Each individual stay may last up to 6 months. As long as you abide by the maximum length of stay and the validity period of your ETA, you may decide which countries of the UK you want to visit during these 6 months and how much time you will spend in each country.

Besides the conditions pertaining to the period of validity and length of stay, there are also some conditions related to the purpose of your trip. An ETA allows you to travel to the UK for a holiday, a visit to friends or family, a business trip or a short study trip. The ETA can also be used for a transfer. An ETA is not sufficient for other travel purposes, such as working for a UK company. Special arrangements do apply for work in the creative sector. For instance, actors, dancers, performers and artists, among others, can stay in the UK for up to 3 months with an ETA. Their work must make a unique contribution to the country, have a sponsor, be paid at least the minimum wage and meet all other conditions of the ETA UK.

Security questions ETA form

Besides the conditions regarding the passport and travel plans, travellers themselves must also meet a number of requirements. The ETA application form is used to check whether the traveller in question meets the requirements and is therefore eligible for visa-free travel. You must first fill in some contact and travel details in the ETA application form. You then need to fill in a number of details, including passport information, for each traveller. You also need to indicate the employment status of each traveller as well as answer the question whether the traveller in question has ever been prosecuted criminally. If so, please elaborate. Traffic violations or offences that are not punishable in the UK do not need to be declared. That said, you should always declare if a traveller has a criminal record.

The immigration service assesses whether the traveller is eligible for an ETA UK based on the information filled in and whether they are therefore allowed to travel to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland without a visa. If a traveller is unemployed at the time of the ETA application, the application will not automatically be rejected. However, under certain circumstances this may factor into the assessment of your application. If you have knowingly or unknowingly filled in security questions in the application form incorrectly, there may be criminal consequences. The traveller in question may also be denied entry to the UK for an extended period.

Open the ETA form

If you are not eligible for the ETA

If you do not meet the requirements listed on this page, you cannot apply for an ETA for your trip to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you still want to travel to (one of) these countries, you will need a UK visa. You can apply for a UK visa via the UK immigration website. Expect processing times of at least 3 weeks to obtain a standard visitor or student visa. Processing times for work visa applications depend on the type of work visa you apply for.

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the United Kingdom visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (10 GBP per visa, via apply-for-an-eta.homeoffice.gov.uk). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 10 GBP in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 28,06 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous United Kingdom visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.