United Kingdom Visa Waiver Program: Things to know about that
iVisa | 4 min read | Updated on Oct 04, 2023

Please note the UK ETA will soon replace the UK Visa Waiver. The UK government will start to require the ETA for Qatari citizens in November 2023 and for nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates from February 2024 onwards.

This article will explore what will change in the Visa Waiver Program UK. We’ll provide essential information to ease your travel plans and stay informed about the latest developments in UK immigration policies.

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Visa Waiver Program - UK

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows travelers to visit the UK with a document known as Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW UK), a travel authorization that permits them to stay in the United Kingdom for up to six months per stay without a valid visa. Visitors can enter the UK for tourism, business, short-term study, or medical reasons.

Eligible travelers can submit an application for the EVW online on our website or iVisa App. It’s an electronic system, and the document is sent by email; no need to visit a UK Embassy. If you travel to the country before November 2023, you can still click here to apply for the EVW.

However, from November onwards, the document will be replaced by the new UK ETA. This new system works as a visa waiver program improvement. So, you won’t be able to apply for the EVW any longer.

VWP countries: Which nationalities are allowed to apply for the EVW UK?

Citizens of the following foreign countries are on the Visa Waiver Program and can apply for the EVW through our platform:

  • Bahrain

  • Kuwait

  • Oman

  • Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia

  • United Arab Emirates

These same nationalities (plus Jordanians) will be eligible for the UK ETA. However, it doesn’t cover diplomatic or military purposes.

What do I need to ensure the application is approved?

It isn’t possible to ensure the application is approved. Nevertheless, once you’re eligible, there are some tips to improve your chances of getting an EVW:

  • While filling out the application form, verify if the details you provide are the exact same as your passport and other documents. Every detail should match, including the apostrophes, hyphens, periods, spaces, and other punctuations.

  • Don’t omit a single destination.

  • Your electronic passport must meet enhanced secure passport requirements, such as having an embedded electronic chip, and be issued by the proper passport issuing authority.

  • Double-check your application before submitting.

  • If you’re filling out the application form for another person, do this process to verify the applicant's details before submitting.

Also, consider this simple but efficient advice when applying for UK ETA applications later.

When is the best time to apply for a UK Electronic Visa Waiver?

The application for the EVW UK can start as early as three months before departure to as late as 48 hours. At iVisa, we offer options to process EVW UK applications within 24 hours of submission to ensure applicants get their authorizations as early as possible.

Keep in mind that from November onwards, this document will no longer be required. If you plan to visit the UK by then, wait to apply for the UK ETA.

Processing times and fees for the UK Electronic Visa Waiver?

Remember, the Visa Waiver Program requirements will change soon, and the UK ETA will be implemented from November awards. If you travel before the ETA comes into force, here are the processing times and fees that we offer for EVW applications:

  • Standard processing time: 4 days - USD $130.99.

  • Rush processing time: 3 days - USD $208.99

  • Super rush processing time: 2 days - USD $302.99

These are the total costs, including the government and our service fees.

The implementation of the UK ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization)

The UK ETA, or Electronic Travel Authorization, is a new entry requirement developed by the United Kingdom for eligible citizens wishing to visit the UK for tourism, business, short-term study, family and friends, or transit purposes.

This electronic system simplifies and streamlines the process of getting permission to enter the UK without the need for a nonimmigrant visa. Additionally, it strengthens UK border control and keeps track of visitors’ identities. It’ll take place gradually from November onwards, replacing the previous Visa Waiver UK document.

System for travel authorization: When the UK ETA will start to be required?

If you are a citizen of Qatar:

  • You’ll require an ETA if your trip to the UK is on or after November 15, 2023.

  • The application for the ETA must start in October.

If you are a citizen of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates:

  • You’ll need an ETA for your UK travel if it is on, or after February 22, 2024.

  • The new electronic system for travel must be available from February onwards.

Learn more about the UK ETA

Contact us

If you have queries about the Visa Waiver Program UK or the new ETA, don’t worry! Contact our customer service team online chat or [email protected]. We’ll happily help you prepare for your journey in the UK. Keep calm and plan your trip!

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