Electronic Travel Authorization

What is an ETA?

An electronic travel authorization (ETA) is an automated authorization system used by some countries to verify whether an applicant is eligible to enter their borders. It is an electronic document linked to a traveler’s passport that grants permission for visa-exempt foreign nationals to travel to or transit through a particular country for a pre-specified period.

The ETA pre-screening process helps countries to better manage their borders and ensure the safety and security of their citizens. By requiring foreign nationals to obtain an ETA before traveling, countries can pre-screen travelers and assess potential security risks, ensuring that only eligible and authorized individuals are allowed to enter. The purpose of an ETA is to regulate and monitor the entry of foreign nationals into a country. It allows authorities to gather necessary information about travelers before they arrive, such as:

  • Their passport details.
  • Their travel history.
  • Any potential security concerns.

Not all foreign nationals are eligible for an ETA. ETAs are intended for nationals from visa-waiver countries, citizens of countries that have reciprocal agreements with the destination country, or travelers from countries deemed to pose certain security risks. They may also be required for specific types of travel, such as tourism, business, or transit.

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Some countries that have implemented an electronic travel authorization system include:

United Kingdom

The UK ETA is required for nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates who are visiting the UK for the following reasons:

  • Tourism purposes (for up to six months).
  • Transiting through the UK.
  • The Creative Worker Visa Concession (for up to three months).
  • A permitted paid engagement.

  • Learn more about UK ETA


    The Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is required for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to or transiting through Canada by air. Additionally, citizens from certain visa-required countries may be eligible to apply for an eTA, instead of a visa, to travel to Canada by air. To be eligible for an eTA under these conditions, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Have held a Canadian visitor visa in the last 10 years or currently have a valid U.S. non-immigrant visa.
  • Be visiting Canada for a maximum of six months for tourism or business activities.
  • The Creative Worker Visa Concession (for up to three months).
  • Travel using a passport from an eligible visa-required country.
  • Australia

    The Australian ETA Electronic Travel Authority is required for certain passport holders traveling to Australia for tourism, visiting family or friends, transit, education, or business purposes. To be eligible for an ETA, you must hold a passport from an eligible country.

    New Zealand

    The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) is required for travelers visiting New Zealand for tourism, transit, or business purposes from visa-waiver countries or Australian permanent residents (non-citizens). NzeTAs are required for air passengers and cruise ship passengers.

    United States

    The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is intended for nationals from visa-waiver countries who are traveling to the US for business or tourism purposes, as long as they do not currently possess a U.S. visitor’s visa.

    The Republic of Korea

    The Korea ETA, sometimes called the K-ETA or the KR-ETA, allows visa-free entry into the Republic of Korea via flight or ship. It is intended for tourism, visiting family, participating in events or meetings, and business purposes.

    Advantages of ETAs

    There are many potential advantages to the ETA system, including:

    • Smoother travel experience
      Obtaining an ETA helps with a smoother and more efficient entry process for travelers. ETAs are connected to your passport electronically, meaning you do not need to send your passport off and the ETA is processed online. Electronic pre-authorization means travelers are also more likely to experience quicker processing upon arrival at immigration checkpoints, reducing wait times and enhancing the overall travel experience.
    • Enhanced border security
      ETAs allow countries to conduct pre-screening of travelers and assess any potential security risks before travelers arrive at their borders. This helps to improve border security by identifying and addressing security concerns in advance, which can contribute to overall national security efforts.
    • Improves data collection and monitoring
      ETAs enable countries to collect essential information about travelers, including ETA passport details, travel history, and other relevant data. This data can be used for various purposes, such as immigration enforcement, statistical analysis, and monitoring visitor trends. This can help countries to develop more informed immigration policies and strategies.
    • Prevents any legal issues surrounding entry
      ETAs ensure that travelers meet the necessary requirements for entry into a country, helping to facilitate legal and compliant travel. By obtaining authorization in advance, travelers can avoid potential issues or complications at the border, such as being denied entry due to inadequate documentation or failure to meet entry criteria.
    • Lower cost
      ETAs typically cost much less than other visa types. Travelers can benefit from cheaper, more convenient travel. Because ETAs are typically multi-entry, you can also re-enter the country as many times as you want within the validity period for no extra cost.

    ETA Eligibility Criteria

    The eligibility criteria for an ETA can vary, depending on the country of intended travel. Some of the most common eligibility criteria include:

    • Citizenship
      Travelers must hold citizenship from an eligible country. Passport holders from countries with reciprocal agreements and those from visa-waiver countries may be able to apply for an ETA.
    • Purpose of travel
      ETAs are typically only valid for specific purposes such as tourism, business, or transit and for a specific amount of time. Travelers must intend to visit the destination country for one of these approved purposes.
    • Passport validity
      Travelers must hold a valid passport from an eligible country. The passport should be valid for a specific period beyond the intended duration of stay, as stated by the destination country’s immigration regulations.
    • Compliance with immigration laws
      Travelers must agree to abide by the immigration laws and regulations of the destination country. This includes not engaging in unauthorized activities and not overstaying the authorized period of stay.
    • Criminal history
      Travelers may be subject to criminal checks, and individuals with certain criminal convictions or security concerns may be deemed ineligible for an ETA.
    • Health requirements
      Some countries may require travelers to meet specific health and medical requirements, such as vaccinations or medical insurance coverage.
    • Financial means
      Travelers may need to demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in the destination country, including funds for accommodation, meals, and other expenses.
    UK ETA

    ETA Validity and Duration

    The ETA travel validity period refers to the period during which the ETA is valid for use. It starts from the date of issuance and ends on a specified date. During this validity period, travelers can use the ETA for multiple entries within the allowed duration of stay.

    The duration of stay specifies the maximum length of time a traveler is permitted to remain in the destination country per entry. It begins from the date of entry into the country. Travelers must adhere to this period and exit the country before the authorized stay expires to avoid overstaying the ETA.

    ETAs from different countries have different validity periods and permitted durations of stay, for example:

    United Kingdom ETA

    • Validity period: Up to two years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.
    • Duration of stay: Up to three months or six months, depending on the reason for travel.

    Canada eTA

    • Validity period: Up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.
    • Duration of stay: Usually up to six months per entry.

    Australia ETA

    • Validity period: Up to one year from the date of issue or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.
    • Duration of stay: Multiple short stays of up to three months each.

    New Zealand NzeTA

    • Validity period: Up to two years from the date of approval or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.
    • Duration of stay: Up to three months per entry or six months with a UK passport.

    United States ESTA

    • Validity period: Up to two years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first.
    • Duration of stay: 90 days or less.

    The Republic of Korea

    • Validity period: Up to three years.
    • Duration of stay: Between 30 days and three months, depending on your country of nationality.

    ETA Requirements

    Although the requirements can vary depending on the country issuing the ETA, travelers typically need to provide the following documentation to complete the application process:


    You will need a valid passport from an eligible country. The passport’s validity period must extend beyond the intended duration of stay.


    You will need a recent, clearly identifiable, and passport-sized photograph that meets the specifications outlined by the destination country's immigration authorities. This photo will be used for identification purposes and to verify your identity during the ETA application process.

    Contact information

    Contact details that will be required include your email address, phone number, and residential address. These details are used for communication purposes and to notify you about the status of your ETA application.

    Travel itinerary

    You may be asked to provide information regarding your intended dates of travel, destination address, and purpose of visit. Providing a detailed travel itinerary helps immigration authorities assess your travel plans and eligibility for the ETA.

    Means of financial support

    You may be required to provide proof of sufficient financial means to support your stay in the destination country, including bank statements, employment letters, or sponsorship letters if applicable.

    Previous visa/ travel history

    You may need to provide details of any previous travel visas or ETAs, as well as travel history to the destination country or other relevant countries. This information helps immigration authorities assess your travel background and compliance with immigration laws.

    Payment confirmation

    Proof of payment of the ETA processing fee may be required to complete the application process. Payment confirmation can include receipts, transaction records, or online payment confirmations.

    How to Apply for an ETA

    It is important you follow the application process carefully to prevent your ETA application from being rejected. The ETA immigration process can vary depending on each country’s specific ETA process, but some of the steps you can expect to follow include:

    Review the information provided above and the specific information for your intended destination to check whether you are eligible for an ETA.

    If you can apply online for an ETA, you will need to complete all sections of the application form correctly and honestly, including:

    • Personal details.
    • Passport information.
    • Travel information.
    • Health declaration.
    • Purpose of your visit.
    • Security information.

    You will need to submit any required supporting documents, such as a scanned copy of your passport and a recent photograph.

    The payment amount will vary depending on the ETA country. Payment will likely be made online via debit or credit card, and you may need to attach proof of payment to your application.

    Once you are satisfied with your application, submit the ETA application electronically through the ETA online portal.

    It usually takes between a few days and a few weeks to receive the outcome of your application. The processing time may vary depending on the country and the volume of applications received. You may receive confirmation via email or via the website.

    Although your ETA will be connected to your passport, it is recommended to print or download your approval notice for your records and in case it is requested before boarding.

    ETA Processing Time

    The processing time for Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) applications can vary depending on several factors, including the country of application, the volume of applications received, and the efficiency of the immigration authorities.

    • United Kingdom ETA: The majority of applications are processed within a few minutes, up to three days. Some applications may require additional processing, extending the processing time.
    • Canada eTA: The majority of applications are processed within a few minutes. Some applications may require additional processing, extending the processing time.
    • United States ESTA: Most applicants receive instant approval, but some may undergo additional processing, which can take up to 72 hours.
    • New Zealand NZeTA: While many applications are processed within minutes, some may take up to three days for approval, especially during peak travel seasons.
    • Australia ETA: The majority of applications receive instant approval, but some may require additional processing, leading to longer processing times

    ETA Fees

    Obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) typically involves paying various fees, including application fees and any additional charges. Here’s an overview of the fees associated with obtaining ETAs:

    United Kingdom ETA

    • Application Fee: £10 per traveler.
    • Additional Charges: There are no additional charges associated with the UK ETA.

    Canada eTA

    • Application Fee: The Canadian eTA cost is CAD$7.
    • Additional Charges: There are no additional charges for the eTA.

    Australia ETA

    • Application Fee: There is no visa application charge but an AUD$20 service fee may apply.
    • Additional Charges: There may be additional surcharges or fees associated with processing payments using certain payment methods.

    New Zealand NZeTA

    • Application Fee: The application fee is NZD$17 for a mobile application or NZD$23 for an online application.
    • International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL): In addition to the application fee, travelers are required to pay NZD$35 for the IVL.
    • Additional Charges: There are no other additional charges for the NZeTA immigration process.

    United States ESTA

    • Application Fee: The fee for the ESTA is $21 per application.
    • Additional Charges: You will also need to pay a $4 processing fee and a $17 authorization fee.

    Republic of Korea

    • Application Fee: 10,000KRW.
    • Additional Charges: None.

    It’s important to note that these fees are subject to change and may vary based on factors such as currency exchange rates and applicable taxes. Additionally, some countries may offer expedited processing options for an additional fee.


    In most cases, ETAs cannot be extended. If you need to stay longer than the authorized period, you may need to apply for a visa extension or another type of visa. Alternatively, you will need to leave the country and apply for a new ETA (if eligible).

    In many cases, you can apply for an ETA on behalf of someone else, such as a family member or a client. However, you will need to provide their accurate personal and passport information during the application process.

    If your ETA application is denied, you should carefully review the reason for the denial provided by the immigration authorities. Depending on the reason, you may have the option to reapply or apply for a different type of visa for your travel needs.