When the UK’s new ETA system is introduced, citizens from Nauru will need to familiarise themselves with it before travelling. The ETA, set to be put in place by the year 2024, is replacing the current visa waiver programme. In this guide for travellers from Nauru, you’ll learn how the ETA works, how to apply for it and what to expect when travelling to the United Kingdom.
What Is the UK ETA for Nauruan Citizens?
The ETA, which stands for Electronic Travel Authorisation, is a new system for the UK. However, experienced travellers might already know about similar programmes. The ETA is based on other travel-related schemes, such as the United States ESTA or Canadian ETA. Just like those other programmes, it is designed to help the government achieve its goal of digitalising the country’s borders, providing more oversight, control and security.
The ETA is a travel permit rather than a visa. The application process is much simpler and easier than a visa application and can be entirely completed online. Once the ETA is introduced, travellers will need to apply for one before beginning their journey.
How Does the ETA Affect Nauruan Travellers?
Like other Commonwealth members, Nauru is featured on the list of 92 countries with which the UK has a visa waiver arrangement. Because of this, travellers from Nauru do not need a visa to enter the UK. At present, they can travel to the UK without any additional paperwork, requiring only their passport. This will change when the new system comes into effect, as they will require a UK ETA for Nauruan citizens before they can enter the country.
There are a number of different reasons why Nauruans come to the UK. All visitors from Nauru will need to go through the same application process, regardless of their reason for travel. These reasons might include the following:
• Business trips
• Short-term courses or study programmes
• Visits to friends and family
• Medical treatment
All Nauruans who are going to spend less than six months in the UK, and do not intend to work while in the country, must apply for an ETA. Those who would like to work, spend more than six months in the UK or live there permanently will need a visa. This aspect of the system remains unchanged. Visa applications will not be affected by the introduction of the ETA scheme.
Applying for the UK ETA for Nauruan Citizens
Before beginning their journey, travellers will need to complete the ETA application form. This must be done online, as the system is designed to be completely digital. Paper-based options will not be made available. Applicants will also need to pay an application fee, which will also be done online.
A list of requirements for the ETA has been published, but it’s important to note that the details have not yet been finalised. Some things are subject to change before the system is introduced, and other information, such as the cost of the ETA application fee, is not yet available. Still, travellers are advised to consult this list of requirements to gain an overview of what the application will be like. Some UK ETA requirements 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 an address while in the country.
• Payment for the ETA application fee.
• Disclosure of criminal records, past immigration offences and membership (past or present) of proscribed groups or organisations.
One of the main reasons the ETA system is being introduced is to improve the UK’s safeguarding systems, flagging up security threats that travellers might pose. The final point on the above list is designed to facilitate this. Applicants who are considered to present a risk to the UK will have their ETA application rejected.
The UK ETA application form must be completed and paid in full before an application can be processed.
Processing the UK ETA for Nauruan Citizens
In other countries with similar systems, carriers have made electronic travel permits a condition of carriage. This sets a precedent that is likely to be followed in the case of the UK ETA system. Passengers will need to present an approved UK ETA for Nauruan citizens at the boarding gate of their departure airport. If they are unable to do this, they may be denied boarding.
Therefore, it is important that travellers apply for their ETA with enough time for it to be processed before they begin their journey. The application process can take up to 72 hours to process. It will then be approved or denied. With an approved ETA, Nauruans can now begin their journey. They will need to show their ETA at their departure airport and again on arrival in the UK.
ETA applications that are rejected can be appealed. If the appeal is unsuccessful, travellers might be able to apply for a UK visa instead. This is a longer and more complicated process.
Travelling With the UK ETA for Nauruan Citizens
With an approved ETA, Nauruan citizens can enter the UK and stay in the country for a period of up to six months. They can enrol in short courses of study, but they cannot work while in the country. The UK has four constituent countries, which are England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. As there is no border control between these countries, Nauruans can move around as they want. The United Kingdom shares one land border with the Republic of Ireland, but this is an independent country, so the ETA is not valid there.
Since Nauru is so far from the UK, many Nauruans who make the journey will also take advantage of the chance to travel to other European countries. In this case, they will need to look up the entry requirements for the other countries they would like to visit. The United Kingdom is not a member of the European Union or Schengen common travel area, and travellers to the UK do not have automatic permission to enter other European countries. Travellers from Nauru should look up the ETIAS requirements, the European Union’s own version of an electronic travel permit, which is soon to be introduced.