Chilean travellers to the UK will soon need to familiarise themselves with the new ETA system. The incoming programme, set to be released by the year 2024, will replace the United Kingdom’s current visa waiver scheme. This complete guide explains how the ETA will work, how travellers should apply for it, and what to know before boarding.
What is the UK ETA for Chilean Citizens?
The ETA, or Electronic Travel Authorisation, is a new system for the UK. However, seasoned travellers may already be familiar with similar schemes. As part of the British government’s plan to digitalise border control measures, it was inspired by other programmes, such as the Canadian ETA and United States ESTA. When in place, the ETA will give the UK government more control and oversight of the people entering and leaving the country. It will also make it easier and more effective to screen out travellers who represent a security risk to the UK.
Unlike a visa, the ETA has a quick and straightforward application process. It serves as a digital permit, and travellers who are issued with the UK ETA for Chilean citizens will be granted permission to enter the country.
How Does the ETA Affect Chilean Travellers?
There is a list of 92 countries that enjoy visa-free travel to the United Kingdom. Chile is one of the countries on this list that will be affected by the introduction of the ETA programme. When the new scheme comes into effect, Chilean citizens who wish to visit the UK will need to apply for an ETA in advance.
The ETA is an entry permit that allows travellers to enter the UK. While many Chileans come to the United Kingdom for tourism, others come for a variety of reasons. Chileans hoping to live permanently, work or spend more than six months in the UK will need to apply for a visa. This process is completely separate from the ETA.
Chilean travellers who plan to spend less than six months in the United Kingdom will be able to enter with an approved ETA. They do not need to apply for a visa and will find that the ETA application process is simpler and easier than a visa application. Their reasons for travel may include the following:
• Business trips
• Short-term courses or study programmes
• Visits to friends and family
• Medical treatment
Applying for the UK ETA for Chilean Citizens
The ETA application form is part of a digital system. This means that it can only be completed online, and no paper-based alternatives will be available.
At present, the ETA system has not yet come into effect, and complete information about it has not been finalised. The British government has released some information about the ETA. This is subject to change, so travellers should double-check before beginning their application process. It gives potential visitors a general idea of how the system will function as well as how applications will work.
Before beginning their application, travellers should take a look at the list of requirements for the ETA. Some of the items they will need for an ETA application include the following:
• A valid biometric passport from a country on the list of eligibility.
• A recent digital passport photo.
• Personal information: this will include data such as date of birth, employment information, contact details, etc.
• The reason for the traveller’s visit to the UK,
• Basic details about the planned trip to the UK, such as address while in the country.
• The ETA application fee payment.
In addition to this information, applicants will be expected to disclose some personal information about their past. The ETA form will ask them if they have a criminal record, if they have ever committed any immigration offences, and if they are or have ever been a member of a proscribed group or organisation. This sensitive information is designed to identify potential security risks to the UK and its citizens. A traveller who is considered a threat to the United Kingdom will have their application denied.
Processing the UK ETA for Chilean Citizens
When completing their application form, travellers will need to pay a fee. This is non-refundable and must be paid in full before the application can be processed.
ETA applications need time to be processed. It is estimated that processing times can last up to 72 hours, so travellers should be prepared by applying well in advance of their journey. Carriers may make an approved ETA a condition of carriage. This means that passengers who are unable to show a UK ETA for Chilean citizens may not be allowed to board the plane at their departure airport. Travellers will need to show their ETA again on arrival in the UK when they pass through border control.
Some ETA applications will be denied. If this happens, travellers will be able to appeal the decision. This will extend the typical processing time. Travellers who are denied an ETA may be able to apply for a visa instead. This is a lengthier process and significantly more complicated than an ETA application.
Travelling With the UK ETA for Chilean Citizens
The ETA gives Chilean visitors the right to travel around the United Kingdom. This means they can move freely between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It does not grant permission to enter the Republic of Ireland, which is an independent country, or any other part of Europe. The UK is not a member of the Schengen zone or the European Union, so Chileans who want to travel to other European countries will need to look into the entry requirements before beginning their journey.
Many Chilean citizens have European passports due to ancestors from Italy, Spain, Portugal and other countries. They will also need to go through the ETA application process, just like Chilean passport holders do.
Chileans in the United Kingdom
Many Chileans may choose the UK as a destination for studying the English language or for enjoying a relaxing holiday. There is a small Chilean community in the UK, with over 7,000 Chile-born residents, the majority living in England. As a large number of Chilean citizens have dual citizenship with European countries, it is hard to accurately estimate the exact size of the Chilean diaspora in the United Kingdom.