International students Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)

An Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is advanced permission to travel to the UK. This can be applied for by nationals of certain countries.

The ETA is applied for before you travel to the UK. The ETA allows you visit the UK up to 6 months for tourism, visiting family and friends, attending your graduation ceremony or for short-term study, such as attending resit exams.

Whether you can apply for an ETA will depend on your nationality. Please click on the appropriate section below for details.

If you are a national from the following countries:

  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

If you're a national of another country, you cannot currently apply for an ETA. 

You also do not need an ETA if you have either:

  • a visa in another route
  • permission to live, work, or study in the UK
  • a British or Irish passport

The Electronic Travel Authorisation gives permission for you to travel to the UK for up to 6 months for the purpose of tourism, visiting family and friends, business or short-term study.

All visitors must meet Standard Visitor Visa requirements on arriving in the UK and throughout the duration of your visit.

Documents required

The following documents are required when you apply for Electronic Travel Authorisation:

  • Your valid and current passport - not a photocopy
  • An email address you have access
  • Way to pay - such as a credit card, debit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay
  • Mobile device or phone to take pictures of your passport and the face of the person applying
  • An ATAS certificate - students studying on certain science or engineering based courses at Masters level and above will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. You can find out more about applying for ATAS and which courses require it, on our ATAS pages. Further guidance can be found on the ATAS website
Fees and costs

The fee for an ETA application is £10. You cannot get a refund after you apply.

There are two ways to apply. You can apply for an ETA using the UK ETA app on a mobile phone or online.

If you need help with the app, you can read the guide on using the UK ETA app.

If you cannot use the mobile app, you can apply online.

The GOV.UK ETA page advises you will usually get a decision within 3 working days. This may be quicker or take longer.

After you apply, you will receive an email confirming you got an ETA.

You should keep:

  • The email copy of your approved ETA
  • Your boarding passes and/or flight itinerary - to show when you entered the UK