The UK ETA for Taiwanese citizens: A Complete Guide

For Taiwanese visitors planning to visit the UK after 2024, there are new rules in place that demand an ETA for entry. This new entry requirement applies only to nationals that do not require a visa for travel to the UK, including Taiwanese citizens. Learn all about how the new UK ETA for Taiwanese citizens will work and how to apply online in this guide.

What Is the UK ETA for Taiwanese Nationals

The UK’s new ETA system is a digital permit scheme that will become operational by 2024. Short for Electronic Travel Authorisation, an ETA is mandatory for all non-visa nationals visiting the UK for business or pleasure. The system works similarly to other digital permission-to-travel policies, like the USA’s ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) and Australia’s Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).

The new ETA system is part of a wider permission-to-travel policy announced in 2022’s Nationality and Borders Bill. The aims of this bill are to strengthen security and digitise the UK’s border. Visitors from Taiwan must now apply for an ETA before they arrive in the UK to verify their permission to travel.

The UK’s new ETA rules will affect 92 visa-free countries, including Taiwan. These countries do not require a visa to travel to the UK and may stay with an ETA for up to 180 days at a time. The purpose for travel ranges from tourist stays to business trips, family reunions and medical treatment. For those commencing employment in the UK, marrying or settling, a visa is required.

How Will the New ETA System Affect Taiwanese Citizens?

Taiwanese citizens must now apply for permission before travelling to the UK, a step that was previously unnecessary. This means that planning and preparing an application is required before travel. Taiwanese citizens can no longer enter the UK as easily as they once could, preventing spontaneous last-minute journeys and necessitating pre-booking.

Taiwanese citizens do not currently require a visa to visit the UK if they have a personal ID number on the bio data page of their passport. If the passport is older and does not hold this information, a visa will be required. For those that meet the visa-free requirements, the UK ETA for Taiwanese citizens is a quick and convenient online application that does not require any in-person consulate visits or physical documents, as outlined below.

Applying for a UK ETA for Taiwanese Citizens

The UK’s ETA system is still being finalised, but fundamental information about how the system will operate has been released. A full list of those now eligible for an ETA has been announced to include all 92 current visa-free nationals, which includes Taiwan.

Taiwanese nationals should apply for an ETA online through the official UK portal before they travel to the UK. The entire process is expected to take no longer than 10 minutes. A list of requirements has been published detailing the information required in the application process. This may change as the ETA is developed, but you can expect the following to be given during the online process:

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

Applicants must also complete a full disclosure form to confirm the applicant has no criminal history, never committed any immigration offences and is not — and never has been — a member of a proscribed group. If the applicant is found to be a risk, they will not be permitted an ETA. Travellers with a criminal history may still be able to apply for a standard visa instead of a UK ETA.

Processing the UK ETA for Taiwanese Citizens

While an ETA application should take 10 minutes to complete, there is a processing time before the applicant receives confirmation. This can take from 42 to 72 hours in total. The UK aims to minimise processing times, but delays and rejections can occur. The applicant will receive their confirmation by email. No further documents are required.

As the processing time can reach 72 hours, it is important for Taiwanese applicants to apply with enough time before they commence travel. An ETA is mandatory for UK entry. If an ETA is still being processed at the time of arrival, the applicant will be denied entry. Applicants should also leave enough time in case of rejection to complete the appeals process.

Airlines and other carriers are expected to screen their passengers before arrival to avoid border rejections. In this case, those passengers not in possession of a valid UK ETA will not be permitted to board the plane/carrier. Passengers must present their passport and ETA at digital eGates or to border security upon entry into the UK, depending on their travel method.

Travelling With the UK ETA for Taiwanese Citizens

A UK ETA is valid for travel throughout the United Kingdom, giving Taiwanese nationals the right to visit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland without additional paperwork. This also includes British crown dependencies, like the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. For those crossing into the Republic of Ireland, or vice versa, an ETIAS Visa Waiver for the EU is required. For more information about a UK ETA for Taiwanese citizens, visitors can refer to the FAQ section.

Taiwanese Nationals in the United Kingdom

Taiwanese nationals benefit from visa-free travel to the UK with an ETA. The UK and Taiwan enjoy close cultural relations, with some 8,000 Taiwanese students studying in the UK every year. The growth of tourism has risen sharply ever since the UK dropped its visa rules for Taiwanese citizens in 2009. There are plenty of highlights for Taiwanese nationals visiting the UK, from historical sites to cultural attractions like the British Museum, home to some important Taiwanese artefacts. Non-stop flights are available from Taipei to London, among plenty of layover routes, making travel convenient between the two nations.