The UK government has introduced an electronic travel authorisation permit to strengthen border control. The permission to travel scheme will apply to citizens of countries with non-visa agreements with the UK, like Slovenia. Before visiting the UK, travellers must apply for the ETA and wait for approval to know if they can travel to the UK. Here is a comprehensive guide on how electronic travel authorisation works, the eligibility criteria, requirements and the application process:
What Is the UK ETA for Slovenian Citizens?
Travellers who have visited the US are likely familiar with the ESTA government programme, which requires them to complete an online application before entering the US without a visa. The visa waiver document is designed to speed up entry at the borders. With the electronic travel authorisation permit, the UK government plans to introduce a similar programme in 2024. The UK ETA for Slovenian citizens is not a visa — it’s a travel permit designed to strengthen security checks on visa-free visitors to the UK.
The ETA will be required for all non-visa nationals travelling to the UK. Citizens from European Union countries, including Slovenia, don’t need a visa to visit the UK. They can move freely in and out of the UK territory with a passport. Aside from European Union countries, other Asian and Middle East countries have visa agreements with the UK, and travellers need to obtain a visa waiver before travelling. In the new ETA system, countries that require visas to visit the UK will not need an electronic travel permit since they have already completed an application.
Electronic travel authorisation was introduced to close loopholes in the current border and immigration system. Non-visa nationals have express permission to travel to the UK for short stays. That means border control and law enforcement have minimal time to assess the risks they pose. Border authorities also need help tracking the number of travellers entering and exiting the UK border at a particular time.
Through the Nationality and Borders Bill, the UK government is filling a gap in advance permission to travel for visitors travelling to the UK from non-visa countries. The scheme gives the UK more control of the borders, and authorities can block threats from entering the UK. With advance permission-to-travel, carriers and individuals have prior notice and assurance that they will be allowed into the UK borders. Aside from the USA, Australia and Canada also have similar travel permits to keep the country safe and secure.
How to Obtain the UK ETA for Slovenian Citizens
Citizens from countries that meet the eligibility criteria to apply for the ETA can obtain the travel permit with an online application. Before the application, a traveller should have the essential requirements to register for the permission to travel document successfully. The main ETA requirements for travellers include the following:
• Slovenian passport: Slovenian citizens require a valid, biometric national passport to apply for electronic travel permission. The passport should be valid within the short stay and have a recent digital photo and biometric information.
• Active email address: An applicant needs a valid email address to complete the application. The email address should be active for the visitor to receive notifications of the application progress and the confirmation of the ETA approval.
• Payment details: Travellers should provide valid payment details for paying the ETA fees. Applicants can attach a credit or debit card that will be used to pay the charges. Without the payment, the travel permit will not be processed.
The UK ETA for Slovenian citizens is still under development, but travellers from Slovenia can find details on the application procedure. The UK ETA application form has questions that resemble those of existing eVisa and online travel authorisations available in other countries. Every ETA traveller must complete the UK ETA, regardless of age. When the electronic travel authorisation is live, applicants will provide the following information:
• Personal information: The application will require details on the applicant’s full name. Since the first and last names are mandatory sections, an applicant without a last or first name should enter LNU or FNU to indicate the last or first name unknown in the respective sections. The date of birth and gender information is also required.
• Passport details: Slovenian nationals must provide their passport information, including the passport number used for travel to the UK and the ETA application. The passport issuance date and expiry date should be indicated in the application form. Applicants with other nationalities should indicate and provide details of the other passports, including national ID numbers, issuance and expiry dates.
• Contact details: Slovenian citizens should provide details of their contact information, including home address, telephone number and email address. When applying for children, applicants should provide details of the legal guardian or parent.
• Employer details: Applicants travelling for business purposes should provide work details, including the employer’s name, physical address, email addresses and phone numbers.
• Eligibility questions: Slovenian citizens are expected to answer eligibility questions on previous immigration history. Any details of previous visa or border denials should be disclosed. Applicants with a criminal history should also reveal the details, whether it was a minor or major crime. Applicants can expect to answer questions on drug possession, drug usage and distribution charges. The application questions also cover activities, charges and membership in terrorist groups.
• Health-related questions: Slovenian citizens will be required to answer health-related questions, including information on vaccinations, immunisations and existing infections.
After the application process, applicants can submit the application online and pay the required fee. The processing takes a few days, and applicants should plan accordingly to avoid delays caused by late approval of the UK ETA for Slovenian citizens.
Travelling to the UK From Slovenia With the UK ETA
Slovenian citizens can travel to the UK for six months with an approved electronic travel authorisation. That means they can visit countries in the UK territory without any issues with border authorities. Visitors can visit Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England for tourism and business-related purposes. Slovenian travellers can use the ETA to travel to the UK for meetings and business purposes, but they cannot work or start a business in the country. Aside from travelling for tourism or visiting friends and relatives, Slovenian citizens can use the UK ETA to travel for medical treatment or complete short-term studies. Travellers from Slovenia are encouraged to review the UK ETA FAQ page for additional information.