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ETA is required to travel from Ireland via UK 

Dublin: The upcoming implementation of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system in the UK, scheduled to commence on the 15th of the next month, brings significant changes for Indian passport holders residing in Ireland. Legal sources indicate that those holding Indian passports and living in Ireland will soon be able to travel to the UK without the need for a special visa. The precise date for the allowance of travel for those legally residing in Ireland without the necessity of a visa has not yet been disclosed by the UK Home Office.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has advised that the list of individuals eligible to travel to the UK without an ETA will encompass all legal residents of Ireland, starting on November 15, coinciding with the launch of the Electronic Travel Authorization system. However, travellers utilising the UK as a transit point to reach destinations like India or other countries may face increased complexities with the ETA requirement, affecting thousands of such travellers.

It’s worth noting that the ETA is not mandatory for travel within the Common Travel Area, which includes legal residents of Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man. For Irish residents (citizens or IRP card holders), an ETA is not required, but they must carry documents verifying their legal residency in Ireland.

The ETA system, a novel approach to electronically linking individuals’ passports, follows the path of similar systems established by the US and the EU. Commencing in 2024, visitors necessitating a visa will be required to pay a €10 fee for a two-year ETA permit. Ultimately, by the conclusion of 2024, the ETA will become obligatory for all nationalities. Applications for the phased ETA system are currently open, starting from October 25, with applicants from Qatar being the first to apply.

The introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system in the UK represents a momentous change in border control procedures, signalling the UK’s entry into the era of visa-free international travel regimes. This reform extends its benefits to a variety of travellers, including tourists, those visiting family and friends, and individuals on business or study trips.

Under the ETA system, travellers can enjoy stays of up to six months in the UK. Creative workers holding visas for a three-month period and those in transit through the UK without border patrol will also come under the purview of the ETA.

Reports indicate that the ETA permit is typically processed within a timeframe of 48 to 72 hours and is electronically linked to the traveller’s passport. This single ETA issuance permits multiple journeys and remains valid for a generous period of two years or until the passport of the holder expires, whichever occurs first. This streamlined process promises to facilitate the travel experience for a diverse range of visitors to the UK.

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