If you’re planning to travel to the UK from the year 2024 onwards, you’ll need to know about the new ETA system. Travellers who currently qualify for a visa waiver will need to go through the new programme, applying for an ETA before they begin their journey. This guide explains how the ETA will affect people from Andorra who want to visit the United Kingdom, and it offers advice on how to obtain the UK ETA for Andorran citizens.
What Is the UK ETA for Andorran Citizens?
The new ETA system will be put in place before the end of 2024. The ETA, which stands for Electronic Travel Authorisation, is new to the UK. However, the principles behind it will be familiar to travellers who have visited the USA or Canada, as the system is based on the American ESTA and Canadian ETA programmes.
The ETA is being introduced as part of the British government’s plan to digitalise the country’s borders. It is not the same as a visa, and the application process for an ETA is a lot simpler than a visa application. Essentially, it functions as a digital permit, giving visitors permission to enter the United Kingdom.
The ETA will be issued to visitors from the 92 countries that currently do not require a visa to enter the UK. Travellers can apply for an ETA if they plan to spend less than six months in the UK and as long as they do not intend to work while in the country. They might be coming as tourists, on a business trip, enrolling in courses of study, visiting friends and family or travelling for medical treatment. All of these reasons are considered valid for an ETA application.
How Will the New System Affect Andorran Citizens?
Although Andorra is not in the European Union or the Schengen zone, its neighbouring countries are, including France and Spain. Andorra has special freedom of movement agreements with its neighbours, so travellers can easily cross from the principality into an EU country. However, the United Kingdom is not a member of the European Union or the Schengen zone, so it does not have the same agreements in place. As such, Andorran citizens will not be able to enter the UK as easily as they can enter an EU country.
At present, Andorran visitors to the UK fall under the country’s visa waiver programme. This programme will soon be discontinued. This does not mean that Andorrans will need a visa to enter the country. They will, however, need to apply for the UK ETA for Andorran citizens. Without an ETA, they will not be able to enter the United Kingdom.
With a valid UK ETA for Andorran citizens, travellers can enter the UK and stay for up to six months. During this time, they will not be able to work, although they can enrol in a course for study purposes. Andorrans who plan to spend a longer period of time in the UK or who those hoping to work in the country must apply for a visa separately.
Applying for the UK ETA for Andorran Citizens
Not all the information about the new ETA system has been finalised yet. However, the government has released information about eligibility for the ETA. The citizens of 92 countries will need to apply for an ETA, and Andorra is one of those countries.
A list of requirements for the ETA has also been published. This is subject to change before the system is finalised, but it provides some information about what applicants can expect from the process.
To apply for the ETA, Andorran travellers will need to go through an online form. This is a digital-only system, so no paper-based alternatives will be available. Before completing the form, travellers should be ready with the data they will need. This includes:
- A valid biometric passport issued by one of the countries on the eligibility list.
- A recent digital passport photo.
- Personal information. This will include data such as date of birth, employment information, contact details, etc.
- The purpose of the traveller’s visit to the UK
- Details about the planned trip to the UK, such as address while in the country.
- A debit or credit card for the ETA application fee.
Andorran applicants will also be asked to answer questions about their past. They will need to disclose if they have a criminal record, if they have committed any immigration offences and if they are or have ever been a member of a proscribed group or organisation. This data is required to determine if the applicant is considered a security risk to the UK. Applicants who are deemed to be unsafe will have their ETA application denied.
Processing the UK ETA for Andorran Citizens
Before an ETA application can be processed, all applicants will need to pay a non-refundable fee via a debit or credit card. Once the form is completed and the fee has been paid, the processing time begins. The ETA process can take up to 72 hours to complete.
Travellers must have an approved ETA before they are allowed to enter the United Kingdom, so it is essential that they plan for this, allowing enough time for their application to be completely processed prior to travelling. If an ETA is rejected, travellers may be able to appeal the decision or apply for a visa, but this is a much longer process.
All travellers entering the UK will need an ETA, regardless of their means of travel. Some Andorran citizens choose to drive across France and travel to the UK on a ferry or through the Channel Tunnel. Regardless, they will need an ETA, just as they would if they were travelling by plane.
Travellers should have their approved ETA ready before they begin their journey. Carriers are expected to make the ETA a condition of carriage. This means that passengers will need to show an approved ETA when they arrive at their airport, port or station — if they do not have one, they may be denied boarding. On arrival in the UK, travellers will once again need to provide proof of a valid ETA linked to their biometric passport.
Travelling With the UK ETA for Andorran Citizens
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A valid UK ETA for Andorran citizens gives complete freedom of movement between these four countries. There is no need to complete any further forms or additional paperwork.
Andorrans in the United Kingdom
With a population of just 79,000, Andorra is one of the smallest countries in the European Union. Nevertheless, its high GDP means that its citizens frequently travel for pleasure. Most Andorran visitors to the UK come for the purpose of tourism, although some may also enter the country on business or with the intention of studying for higher education.