The UK ETA for Danish citizens: A Complete Guide

From 2024, the UK will be adopting a new ETA system that affects Danish visitors. This new system requires all visitors to the UK that do not require a visa for travel to now apply for permission to enter the country in the form of an ETA. This online process will become a mandatory part of entry into the UK. Learn what the ETA for Danish citizens entails, including how, when and where to apply, in this guide.

What Is the UK ETA for Danish Nationals

The UK is launching its new ETA system in 2024, with the trial phase taking place through 2023. An ETA, which stands for Electronic Travel Authorisation, is like an electronic visa waiver and acts as a permit. Those with travel experience in the USA will be familiar with the concept of an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Similarly, Denmark and the EU are adopting their own ESTA (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) for non-EU, visa-free travellers.

The UK’s new ETA system was announced as part of broad immigration plans outlined in the Nationality and Borders Bill. The aims of this bill are to both strengthen border security and move to fully digitise border entry. For Danish visitors to the UK, this means extra planning will need to be taken in filling out an online ‘permission to travel’ application, an ETA.

The new ETA scheme will affect 92 countries, including all EU states and Denmark. These countries do not require a visa to visit the UK for short stays, otherwise known as non-visa nationals. Non-visa nationals are permitted to visit the UK visa-free for up to 6 months at a time for tourist purposes, among other reasons. These include education enrolment, business trips and family reunions. If a visitor meets these requirements, they can travel visa-free in the UK with an ETA. A visa is required for extended trips, employment, marriage or settlement.

How Will the New ETA System Affect Danish Citizens?

The new UK ETA is a new and extra step all Danes must complete. Danish visitors to the UK can no longer travel with just a passport; they must have received an ETA before they arrive. This will change the travel freedom Danes once received to the UK, as they can no longer enter the UK as easily as they travel across the EU.

Danes still do not require a visa to enter the UK for up to 180 days. Instead, they must apply for a UK ETA for Danish citizens before they travel. Without an ETA, Danes will not be able to enter the UK. The ETA application is a short online process that is designed to take no longer than 10 minutes. No physical paperwork or in-person consulate applications are needed, as outlined below.

Applying for a UK ETA for Danish Citizens

The ETA application has not yet been fully finalised. However, the basics have been published. First, a list of those nationals now eligible for an ETA has been released. A further list of expected requirements is also known. As the ETA goes through its trial year, these details are subject to change.

Danish nationals must apply for an ETA online through the official UK portal before they intend to travel. There is no need to attend a consulate or visa centre, as everything is completed online. The applicant should have the following at hand when submitting the online form:

• A valid biometric passport issued by an eligible country, such as Denmark.
• A recent digital passport-sized photograph.
• Personal details, including full name(s), date of birth, occupation and contact details.
• The purpose and details of the applicant’s travel arrangements within the UK.
• A credit or debit card to pay the application fee.

Danish applicants must also sign a disclosure form that confirms the applicant has no criminal history, immigration offences or membership to a proscribed group or organisation. These security questions must be answered truthfully. If an applicant is found to be a risk to the UK’s security, their application will be denied. Applicants with a criminal history may be asked to complete a standard visa application instead.

Processing the UK ETA for Danish Citizens

While the ETA application time is short, it will take some time to process. Processing times are expected to take between 48 to 72 hours. The applicant will receive a confirmation once their ETA is approved.

As the potential processing time is 72 hours, Danish applicants must ensure they apply with enough time before their intended travel date. Failure to produce a valid ETA will lead to the individual being denied entry, even if that ETA is still being processed. If the ETA is rejected, there is expected to be an appeals process.

Danish citizens do not need to apply for an ETA within Denmark but can do so digitally from anywhere outside the UK. This allows for border crossings and departures across Europe, including Channel crossings. Regardless of how the applicant plans on entering the UK, a valid ETA must be presented at the border. Carriers are also expected to screen passengers before they board. Failure to present an ETA may result in the passenger being denied boarding in their origin country. Upon arrival in the UK, Danish citizens can proceed through eGates that scan and confirm the passenger’s ETA and biometric passport for swift border access.

Travelling With the UK ETA for Danish Citizens

A UK ETA is valid for travel across the United Kingdom, allowing Danes to visit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland without additional paperwork. This also includes most crown dependencies, including the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. As EU members, Danish citizens are also able to travel visa-free into the UK via the Republic of Ireland with an ETA. Travellers can review the UK ETA FAQ section for additional details.

Danish in the United Kingdom

Danish citizens are granted visa-free travel across the UK and need only apply for an ETA before they set off. Whether visiting the UK for tourism, business or family, Danish visitors have 6 months from the date of entry to explore the country. There are many ports of entry for Danish travellers, with direct flights from Copenhagen, Billund, Aarhus and Aalborg to cities all across the UK.