The UK border requirements for Swedish citizens are changing with the introduction of the new ETA system in the UK. The electronic travel authorisation (ETA) will come into effect in 2024 and act as a travel permit for travellers entering the UK. With the ETA, visitors are required to seek advance permission to travel to the UK before getting to the airport. The new digital system applies to countries with non-visa agreements with the UK, including Sweden. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the ETA eligibility, requirements and the application process.
What Is the New UK ETA for Swedish Citizens?
With the increased immigration issues and the need for the UK government to improve border control, the Home Office introduced a Nationality and Borders Bill. The bill created a digital system for travellers to apply for a travel permit before visiting the UK. Currently, citizens from countries with visa-free agreements with the UK can traverse the country without any restrictions.
Swedish citizens can enter the UK for six-month stays with only a passport. This makes it challenging for the border authorities to control the visitors entering or leaving the country. Border authorities cannot vet the travellers and ensure they don’t have prior criminal issues that could threaten the country’s security.
The UK government introduced the ETA to solve border issues and allow the government to count the number of visitors visiting or leaving the country. The ETA is a travel permit that allows Swedish citizens to enter the country. The 92 countries with non-visa agreements with the UK will be eligible for electronic travel authorisation.
What Are the Requirements of the UK ETA for Swedish Citizens?
The new UK ETA for Swedish citizens is intended to make border control and travelling into the UK hassle-free. The process is completely electronic and can be completed online. Swedish applicants wishing to acquire an ETA must meet the entry requirements. Failure to have the required documents will lead to the denial of the electronic travel permit. The ETA requirements for Swedish citizens include the following:
• A valid Swedish passport: Since Swedish travellers don’t require a visa to travel to the UK, they must provide a biometric passport as a form of identification. Aside from the passport number, the date of issue and the passport’s validity period are required. A passport also shows a traveller’s nationality. Swedish citizens with multiple nationalities should reveal their citizenship and other passport numbers.
• Email address: Applicants of an ETA need a valid email address since the status of the UK ETA will be communicated through email. Travellers should ensure the email address is correct to avoid delays in receiving the confirmation of the travel permit.
• Payment details: When applying for the UK ETA for Swedish citizens, it is important to include the payment details. Applicants should provide a debit or credit card to pay for the ETA.
How to Apply for a UK ETA
Since the ETA travel permit is not a visa, Swedish citizens don’t have to visit the consulate or British embassy to obtain it. Swedes can complete the application online. The ETA application takes minutes, and each applicant must complete an individual travel permit application. Swedish parents or legal guardians can apply for their kids. The application process involves filling out an online application form that requires providing the following information:
• Passport information: An applicant’s passport information shows their country of citizenship and the passport number used to apply for the ETA. Travellers should also include a passport issuance date and the passport expiry date. Other nationalities and citizenships of the applicant should be revealed, and they will likely be required to disclose national ID numbers and other passport numbers.
• Personal information: A traveller should provide their full name and date of birth. It is essential to double-check the spelling of the name to avoid discrepancies with other documents. Aside from the name, applicants should provide their gender and date of birth.
• Contact details: Swedish citizens should include their home address, postal code, city and country. The telephone and mobile numbers of the applicant are also required. For children, the parent or legal guardian should add their contact details. Travellers visiting the UK for business purposes are expected to add their employer’s contact information.
• Basic UK travel plans: Swedish travellers need to provide an itinerary of their activities around the UK. Visitors should have a list of the cities they plan to visit and their place of residence in the country. Sometimes, applicants are required to provide their arrival and departure date.
• Eligibility questions: Applicants can expect eligibility questions such as details of previous immigration issues, like border and visa denials. Travellers must disclose their criminal history, including major and minor criminal offences. Applicants are expected to disclose a history of drug usage and possession. Some of the questions are related to distribution and drug possession history. Questions that cover memberships and affiliations to terrorist groups are expected. Applicants with previous terrorist charges should disclose the details.
• Health-related questions: Swedish citizens will be required to answer health-related questions. For instance, applicants must disclose previous or existing infections and details of the immunisations and vaccinations required before crossing the border.
The processing time of electronic travel authorisation is faster than a traditional visa. After the application and payment of the ETA fees, it will take the UK authorities a few business days to review the application and get back to the traveller. Applicants should check their emails regularly for confirmation or regular updates on the application if they have yet to receive an ETA. With the short-processing time, travellers can make last-minute travel plans and get an ETA in time for their trip.
How the UK ETA Affects Swedish Travellers
The UK ETA for Swedish citizens will be useful for short-term travel. The ETA is only valid for short-term trips in the UK for six months. Swedish nationals can use the electronic travel permit when visiting the UK for business purposes. However, the travel permit doesn’t permit working in the country or starting a business. Travellers from Sweden are encouraged to review the UK ETA FAQ page for additional information,
Swedes can also use the ETA for tourism and visit various cities around the UK. The travel permit allows travellers to visit Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Ireland without requiring additional documents at the borders. Aside from visiting relatives and friends, Swedish citizens can also use the ETA for short-term study. Swedish nationals can take short courses in the UK without applying for a visa. Travellers can also use the permit to travel to the UK for medical purposes. Swedish citizens who wish to stay longer than six months or carry out activities not covered in the travel permit should get a relevant visa.