The ETA UK is valid for 2 years, starting from the day it is issued. Within the validity period, you are allowed to travel multiple times to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each stay in the United Kingdom may last up to 6 months.

The ETA UK is valid for 2 years

From the end of 2024 onwards, most European travellers will be able to apply for an ETA UK. The ETA is similar to a visa in that it is a mandatory travel authorisation which has to be applied for before departing. From the end of 2024 onwards, applying for an ETA or a visa will be mandatory for most travellers from continental Europe. This includes travellers from all EU-countries and Switzerland. Travellers from these countries will not be allowed to enter the UK without an ETA or a visa.

Apply for your ETA right away

The standard validity period of the ETA is 2 years. This validity period begins on the day the ETA is granted. In certain cases, the validity period can also be shorter, e.g. if the passport used for the ETA application expires within 2 years after the travel authorisation is granted. In that case, the ETA expires on the same day as the passport expires. Please note: the validity period and the allowed duration of each stay are not the same thing. Each stay in the United Kingdom with an ETA may last up to a maximum of 6 months.

The ETA allows for multiple stays of up to 6 months

You are allowed to travel to England and the other countries of the UK as many times as you wish within the validity period of the ETA. Each stay may last up to 6 consecutive months. During these 6 months, you may stay in one of the four countries of the United Kingdom, but you may also visit multiple countries during the same trip. You may, for example, stay in England for 6 months, but you could also spend 2 months in England, followed by 2 months in Scotland and end your trip by staying 2 months in Wales. It is important that the entire duration of each trip to the United Kingdom does not exceed 6 months, regardless of which countries you choose to visit. Of course, you may also stay in the UK for less than 6 months.

In some cases, the allowed duration of a stay may be shorter than 6 months. Most commonly, this is due to the validity of the ETA expiring earlier. You are not allowed to stay in the UK beyond the expiry date of your ETA, regardless of the length of your stay in the UK.

If your ETA UK expires soon

Will your ETA expire soon?
You may apply for a new ETA before your previous ETA expires. A new ETA application overwrites all previously granted ETAs. In certain situations, it may be useful to apply for a new ETA, even though the previous ETA has not expired yet. You should consider this if you intend to travel to the United Kingdom shortly, but your current ETA is not valid for the entirety of your planned stay in the UK. Please keep in mind that you are only allowed to apply for an ETA from outside the United Kingdom. Therefore, it is not possible to extend the allowed six-month stay by submitting a new application from the United Kingdom.


The ETA validity is tied to these requirements

Owning an ETA UK does not guarantee that you will actually be allowed to enter England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Upon entry to the UK, the immigration service will check if all travellers meet the requirements for travel with an ETA. The following requirements need to be met for the ETA to be valid:

  • the application form is filled in truthfully;
  • all the information on the ETA is correct;
  • the ETA is used in combination with a valid passport, which was also used for the ETA application;
  • the ETA is used to travel to the United Kingdom for a holiday, business trip, transfer or for studying short-term;
  • the traveller does not intend to exceed the validity period or the duration of stay which is allowed with an ETA;
  • the traveller does not pose a risk to the United Kingdom and its inhabitants in any way, shape or form.

Do you fulfil all of these requirements? In that case, your ETA is valid, and you should be allowed to enter the United Kingdom without any issues. However, it can never be guaranteed that you will be allowed to enter the United Kingdom. There can be inspections upon arrival and border control agents always have the right to prohibit travellers from entering the country, even if they have a valid passport and a valid travel authorisation. However, this only happens in very exceptional cases. The vast majority of travellers do not experience any issues upon arrival in the United Kingdom.

Submit an ETA application right away

Do you not fulfil the requirements or do you have any doubts? For a more extensive explanation of the rules, you can read the page about the requirements of the ETA UK. If you made an error while filling in the important data in the application form, e.g. your passport details, your ETA is not valid. However, in that case you may apply for a new ETA using the correct details. If you do not fulfil any of the other requirements, you are not allowed to use the ETA. In that case, you will need a visa to travel to the UK.

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.