When the UK introduces its new ETA system, travellers from many different will be affected. The programme, which brings digital travel permits to the UK, is set to come into effect by the year 2024. It will take the place of the UK’s current visa waiver scheme. Sammarinese visitors are among those who will need to apply for an ETA before entering the UK. Read on to learn about the new system, how it works and how to apply for an ETA.
What Is the UK ETA for Sammarinese Citizens?
Digital travel permit systems are becoming more widely used in several different countries around the world. Seasoned travellers might already have some experience with these programmes, which include the ETA in Canada and the ESTA in the United States. The new ETA scheme will introduce a digital travel permit to the UK. It has been designed as part of a government scheme to digitalise the borders and is intended to bring greater oversight and control over people entering the country. It will also allow for improved safeguarding of the border.
The ETA is designed to serve as a replacement for the UK’s current visa waiver programme. It is not a visa. Instead, it is a digital travel permit. A visitor from San Marino who holds an ETA will have permission to spend up to six months in the UK.
How Will Sammarinese Travellers Be Affected?
The UK maintains visa waiver agreements with 92 countries, including San Marino. This means that under the current system, Sammarinese travellers can enter the UK with just their passports, without the need to acquire any other documents. This will change when the ETA programme comes into effect. From then on, travellers from San Marino will need to apply for an ETA before they can travel to the UK.
Travellers from San Marino might travel to the UK for a number of different reasons. These could include various activities, such as:
• Business trips
• Courses of study
• Visiting friends and family
• Medical treatment
The UK ETA for Sammarinese citizens is designed to be “one size fits all”, with a single application form that covers all the different reasons that a traveller might come to the UK. People who should apply for an ETA are those who are planning to stay in the UK for less than six months and will not work in the country.
It is fairly common for Sammarinese citizens to hold dual nationality with Italy. Italian passport holders will also need to go through the ETA application process in exactly the same manner as people with a Sammarinese passport.
The ETA system will have no effect on the UK’s visa programme. Some Sammarinese citizens currently require a visa to travel to the UK. If this is the case, they will still need a visa when the new system comes into effect. People who need to apply for a visa to the UK include those who want to live permanently in the country, those who plan to spend more than six months there and those who would like to work in the UK.
Applying for the UK ETA for Sammarinese Citizens
Travellers will need to apply for the ETA by filling out a form that is available online. An application fee must also be paid. As the ETA is part of a larger, fully digital programme, no offline alternatives will be offered to applicants.
Some information about the ETA requirements has been announced. This has not yet been finalised, and not every detail about the programme has been confirmed. For example, the ETA will have an application fee, but the price has yet to be announced. The requirements may be altered slightly as the programme is introduced.
Although this information may be subject to change, it gives travellers some ideas of what to expect when the ETA system comes into effect. Some requirements include the following:
• 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.
• Disclosure of a criminal record, past immigration offences, and membership (past or present) of any proscribed groups or organisations.
One objective of the ETA programme is improving safeguarding at the UK’s borders. Because of this, travellers will be asked to disclose information about criminal records, etc. If an applicant appears to have connections to organised crime, terrorist organisations or gangs, they will be considered to pose a potential threat to the UK’s safety, and their application is likely to be denied.
An application will only be processed when it has been completed in full, and the fee has been paid.
Processing the UK ETA for Sammarinese Citizens
The UK ETA is expected to be made a condition of carriage. This has already happened in other countries with their own digital travel permits. In these countries, carriers can deny boarding to passengers who are not able to show a permit. Therefore, Sammarinese travellers should fill out their ETA application with enough time for it to be completely processed and approved before they reach their boarding gate.
The ETA is likely to take up to 72 hours to be processed. Travellers will need to present their approved UK ETA for Sammarinese citizens at the boarding gate of their departure airport and once again when they pass through border control in the UK.
While most Sammarinese travellers come to the UK by plane, some travel by sea or enter through the Channel Tunnel that connects Great Britain and France. In all cases, travellers will need an ETA.
A system of appeals will be made available for rejected ETA applications. If an appeal is denied, a traveller may choose to apply for a visa instead.
Travelling With the UK ETA for Sammarinese Citizens
Once a Sammarinese citizen has been approved for the ETA, they can spend up to six months in the UK, although they cannot work there. The UK’s four constituent countries, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, do not have any border control separating them. This means that a Sammarinese traveller can move freely between them without needing to acquire any further documentation.