What is a UK ETA for UAE Citizens?

A United Kingdom (UK) electronic travel authorization (ETA) for citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an advance travel permission that allows the holder to travel to the UK. The United Kingdom ETA for Emirati citizens allows for stays of up to six (6) months and remains valid for two (2) years or until the holder’s passport expires. 

The UK ETA was launched on February 1, 2024, for UAE nationals planning to travel to the UK on or after February 22, 2024. It is a digital travel permit that is part of the UK’s efforts to transform its border security experience through greater automation and digitization. It is currently available to nationals from Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE. The UK ETA scheme will be rolled out to other nationalities during 2024. 

In an effort to streamline the visa application process for nationals from specific countries, the UK ETA process was designed to replace the outdated UK Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme. It is also more cost-effective than the UK EVW and can be completed entirely online. Applicants only need a few minutes and some basic documentation in order to complete the visa application process. 

As of February 2024, UAE citizens can apply for a UK ETA. This UK electronic visa allows for short stays of up to six (6) months for certain specific purposes including tourism, visiting family and friends, short business plans, or short-term study courses. UAE citizens can also apply for a UK ETA if they are coming to the UK for up to three (3) months on the Creative Worker visa concession or coming to the UK for a short-term paid engagement. A UK ETA is also available for UAE citizens transiting through the UK, even if they don’t pass by border control.

Benefits of the UK ETA for UAE Citizens

The UK ETA was specifically designed to make it easier for UAE citizens, and other specified nationalities, to travel to the UK for stays of up to three (3) or six (6) months. The following are some of the top benefits of the UK electronic travel authorization for UAE citizens: 

Quick and easy application process

The application process for the UK ETA could not be easier. Applicants can complete the entire process online including uploading the required documents and paying the application fee. Anyone with an internet connection can complete the ETA application in just a few minutes!

More affordable

The UK ETA is cost-effective with the total service fee of just £55. As the process is automated and digital, applicants also save on any administrative fees or transportation costs that would be incurred with a typical visa process.

Flexible travel

The UK ETA allows UAE citizens multiple entries into the UK over the course of a two (2)-year validity period. They can exit and reenter as needed, provided they do not exceed the allotted period of either three (3) or six (6) months depending on their visa type.

Fast processing time

One advantage of the UK ETA is its short processing time. The UK ETA takes just up to three (3) working days to process with many applications processed in just a few hours. This allows applicants more agility when planning their trip and saves time for other preparations.

UK ETA Eligibility Criteria for UAE Citizens

In order to be eligible to apply for a UK ETA, UAE citizens must meet certain criteria. The following are the requirements all UAE citizens must  meet to apply for a UK electronic visa:

  • Emirati citizenship All applicants must possess a valid Emirati passport that can be used for international travel. Failure to upload a valid passport could result in a dismissal of the application.
  • Clean criminal record Applicants should have a clean criminal record and prove they have not engaged in any criminality, war crimes, terrorism, or extremist activity. It is possible to self-declare any such activity to the UK authorities who will then decide on the success of the application accordingly.
  • Proof of short-term stay The UK ETA only allows holders short-stays in the UK of up to three (3) or six (6) months. Applicants should intend to stay in the UK for just a short time, otherwise they can apply for another type of UK visa.

UK ETA Validity and Duration of Stay

The UK ETA is valid for UAE citizens for up to two (2) years, a generous validity period that allows for flexible travel plans and multiple entries. Emirati holders of a UK ETA can travel to and from the UK as needed, provided they do not exceed the three (3) or six (6) month period. Holders of a Creative Worker visa can only stay up to three (3) months and should be careful not to overstay their visa. It should be noted that the ETA permits multiple journeys to the UK over two years or until the holder’s passport expires – whichever comes sooner. It’s advised that applicants use a passport that will remain valid for more than two from the date of entry into the UK to make the most of their ETA UK.

UK ETA Requirements for UAE Nationals

UAE nationals will need to fulfill some basic requirements when completing the UK ETA visa application process. The following are the required documents that will be necessary for completing the UK ETA application online:

A valid passport copy

Applicants must have a clear, recent copy of their passport. This copy will be uploaded during the UK ETA application process and will allow the UK authorities to verify the applicant’s identity and right to travel.  

A valid passport copy

A personal photograph

All photographs uploaded during the ETA application process must meet the GOV.UK compliance regulations. This includes measuring 600 x 750 pixels with a file size between 50KB and 10MB. Photos must also be clear, in color, and show the applicant’s head and shoulders. 

A personal photograph

A valid payment method

To complete the ETA application process, applicants will need to pay the UK ETA fee. This can be done using a valid credit or debit card, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. The payment method must be valid and have sufficient funds to cover the fee.

A valid payment method

A current email address

All applicants will receive the UK ETA application decision to their valid email address. It is very important that this email address be valid and current so the email does not bounce back or get sent to the wrong person. The email should be accessible to the applicant during the processing period.

A current email address

Applying for a UK ETA for UAE Citizens

Applying for a UK ETA is a quick and easy process that can be completed entirely online by following some basic steps. Here is the simple process that all applicants for the ETA can follow:


Complete the visa application

The UK ETA application form can be completed online by filling in some basic information and completing the mandatory questions. Applications should be completed accurately with the most up-to-date travel and contact details. 


Upload the required documents

Applicants can upload the required documents electronically. Documents should meet the requirements and be authentic. Failure to upload any of the required documents could result in an unsuccessful application.


Pay the application fee

The application fee can be paid online using one of the valid payment methods including a credit or debit card, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. It’s important that applicants have sufficient funds in their account before paying the fee.


Submit the application

After uploading all the required documents and information and paying the application fees, applicants can submit their UK ETA application online. They are advised to verify the accuracy and completion of all application sections before final submission.


Receive your ETA

If approved, the ETA will be sent to the applicant by email and they can proceed with their travel plans for a short stay of up to three (3) or six (6) months in the UK. If the application is rejected, applicants will also be sent an email.

UK ETA Processing Time for UAE Citizens

UK ETA applications are typically processed quickly within around three (3) working days. Due to the increased level of automation, some applications are processed in just a few hours, providing the new holder plenty of time to finalize their travel plans before leaving for the UK.

UK ETA Fees for UAE Citizens

The fees for the UK ETA are low to provide greater accessibility and make it easier for applicants to meet the financial requirements. Now applicants can benefit from our expert visa services, including complete application guidance and assistance, and pay the UK governmental fee for just £55. This is an affordable option for most applicants and can be completed quickly and easily online.

Travel with a UK ETA

to the UK

Each UK ETA is linked to the holder’s passport during the two (2)-year validity period. All holders of a UK ETA must travel with the same passport they used in their application as this is the document that is linked to their electronic travel authorization. It’s a good idea to keep this passport accessible for the duration of one’s stay in the UK as well. For extra security, new holders can print their UK ETA, or keep the approval email accessible while traveling. 

It’s important to note that the UK ETA does not give the holder permission to enter the UK. It is a document that allows the holder to travel to the UK border. The final decision on the holder’s ability to enter the UK will be decided by the UK border officials.

Arrival and Entry
Procedures in the UK

Emirati citizens will present a valid passport that is linked to the UK ETA at the UK border upon arrival. Holders will present the passport, along with any other requested documents, and receive a stamp that allows them to enter the UK. UAE nationals are not authorized to use the ePassport Gates and should proceed to the border control booths. It is still possible to be denied entry into the UK despite having a UK ETA. Holders are therefore advised to answer all the border officer’s questions honestly to the best of their ability and present any requested documents. 

After passing border control, UAE nationals with a valid UK ETA can travel freely around the United Kingdom including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There are many ways to get around the UK, including the vast network of trains and buses, and plenty of rental car agencies. Intercity transportation including subway and buses are also available. Once they have entered, UAE nationals with a valid UK ETA are free to enjoy their short stay in the UK and experience all the area has to offer!


If you are from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, or Jordan and do not possess a valid residency permit or other visa for the UK, you will need to apply for a UK ETA. The ETA allows eligible travelers to visit the UK for tourism, business, friends and family visits, or transit purposes for up to six (6) months. A UK ETA can also be obtained for anyone who requires a Creative Worker visa from the countries listed above.

ETA stands for electronic travel authorization. It is a digital travel permit used by the UK government to pre-screen travelers before their arrival in the country. The ETA allows eligible individuals to enter the UK without needing to obtain a traditional visa.

Travelers from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Jordan are eligible to apply for a UK electronic travel authorization (ETA) to travel to the UK. This digital travel permit will be opened up to other nationalities in 2024.

Yes, citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), can travel to the UK for short visits of up to six (6) months without needing to obtain a visa. However, they will need to obtain a UK ETA in order to travel to the UK. The final decision on entrance into the UK will be decided by the border officials. Travelers from the GCC to the UK must meet certain eligibility criteria and possess a valid passport or other travel document.

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