By the end of 2024, all Costa Rican citizens who wish to travel to the United Kingdom for tourism, transit or business purposes will be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). This guide will provide an overview of the application process and what visitors can expect when they arrive in the UK. The application for a UK ETA for Costa Rican citizens is quick and straightforward, and it is only expected to take about ten minutes to complete.
Once approved, ETA holders can enter the UK multiple times during their ETA’s validity period. We encourage all eligible Costa Ricans to take advantage of this opportunity to simplify their travel plans as well as explore everything that the UK has to offer.
What Is the UK ETA for Costa Rican Citizens?
With Brexit, the UK is in the process of digitising its borders with the ETA system — a similar programme to the USA’s ESTA or Canada’s eTA. This means that online application and approval will be possible, and no physical document will be needed at the point of entry.
Note that this is not the same as requiring a visa — it’s simply an electronic authorisation that proves a visitor’s identity and eligibility to enter the UK. The process is still being finalised, but it is expected to be up and running by early 2023.
Why the Need for the ETA?
The UK ETA will be issued to visitors from the 92 visa-exempt countries. A visa-exempt country is a country whose citizens do not require a visa to enter the United Kingdom at the moment. However, it is essential to note that under the new ETA system, visitors from visa-exempt countries will not be allowed to enter the UK without authorisation, whether by air, sea or land.
ETA holders will be allowed to spend no more than 180 days in the UK, but they cannot work while in the UK. This is because they are classified as “tourists” and not “workers”.
The main purpose of the UK ETA is to provide immigration officers with a seamless, efficient way of processing visitors from visa-exempt countries. The ETA will also allow for biometric information to be collected from Costa Rican visitors, improving security and helping to prevent identity theft and fraud. In addition, the UK ETA will provide visitors with a clear, concise way of applying for the ETA, which will reduce confusion and the need for lengthy queues at visa application centres.
How Will the New System Affect Costa Rican Citizens?
Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. Despite its size, Costa Rica has good relations with its neighbours, such as Panama and Nicaragua. It also has close relationships with many more countries, such as the United States, Canada and most countries in Europe.
In terms of travel freedom, the Guide Passport Ranking Index ranks Costa Rica’s passport in 30th place globally. This ranking is based on a number of factors, including the number of countries that Costa Ricans can enter without a visa and the number of countries that offer visa-on-arrival or e-visa facilities to Costa Ricans. This allows Costa Ricans to enter 150 countries, including the entire European Union, without a visa — as of January 2022. The UK is not part of the European Union anymore, but Costa Ricans can enter the UK under the current visa waiver programme.
One advantage of Costa Rican citizenship is the stability of the country’s political environment. Costa Rica has been a democracy since 1899 and has not experienced civil war since 1948. There have been peaceful transitions between different political parties. This stability means that Costa Ricans can feel confident about their future in the country and enjoy all the benefits that citizenship entails, such as visiting the UK without a visa.
Applying for the UK ETA for Costa Ricans
The requirements of the ETA system are yet to be finalised, but the UK government has already released eligibility criteria. Members of the 92 visa-exempt countries will be eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation permit. This includes Costa Rica, which is among the countries that currently enjoy visa-free travel to the UK.
UK ETA Requirements
To apply for an ETA, applicants must meet a list of requirements. They must have a valid passport from an eligible country and a credit or debit card to pay the application fee. They must also have an email address where they can receive their ETA confirmation. Applicants must provide contact information for verification purposes.
Costa Rica applicants are required to disclose any criminal history or previous violation of immigration policies. The UK government has implemented this policy in order to protect public safety and national security. By screening applicants for criminal history and previous immigration violations, the UK is able to identify individuals who may pose a risk to the country.
This information helps the UK make an informed decision about whether or not to grant an individual a UK ETA, as well as maintain a high level of safety and security for its citizens. Once all of the requirements have been met, applicants can submit their ETA application online and will receive a confirmation within minutes.
How Long Will the ETA Approval Take?
It’s expected that it will take up to 72 hours to receive an approval or rejection letter after submitting the application form online. During this time, the immigration department will be checking various factors, such as the applicant’s criminal history and the accuracy of personal information. If the application is approved, the applicant will be notified via email.
However, if the application is denied, applicants can apply for a normal visa. This is a lengthy and tiresome process, so keep that in mind. Applicants should be cooperative and transparent during the application process in order to increase their chances of having their application approved.
How Will the UK ETA Work?
Once the UK ETA for Costa Rican citizens is approved, it is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport. This means that when the applicant arrives at a UK border, their passport will be automatically scanned, and their ETA status will be checked. If everything is in order, they will be able to enter the UK without any problems.
Travelling to the UK With an ETA for Costa Ricans
The United Kingdom of Great Britain consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Together, these countries offer a wealth of attractions for visitors from all over the world. From the scenic cliffs of Dover to the wild topography of the Scottish Highlands, there is something for all to enjoy. For more details on the UK ETA for Costa Rican citizens, refer to the ETA FAQ.
Whether it is exploring mediaeval castles or learning about the history of the UK and early European settlers in museums, Costa Ricans can experience so much in this county with an ETA. No further paperwork is required to enter these countries once the ETA is granted.