UK ETA for Salford Requirements for International Arrivals

Salford is both a city and a metropolitan borough of Manchester. Despite its more well-known neighbour, Salford is home to many world firsts. The first public library and gas-lit streets all occurred in Salford. Today, this city & borough is known for Salford Quays, a revitalised waterfront of contemporary architecture that’s home to MediaCityUK, the BBC’s northern base. Explore this city and its history with strong connections to Manchester and beyond with a UK ETA for Salford.

Salford: A History

From Early History to the Middle Ages

While the area around Salford was settled in the Neolithic period and later by the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe, Salford got its current name from the Anglo-Saxons. Salford derives from Sealhford, the Old English for a ford (crossing) by willow trees. These willows grew along the River Irwell at what is now Victoria Bridge. The area became a crown estate under Æthelstan of Wessex and was known as the Hundred of Salford. The town prospered in the Norman Middle Ages when Henry III granted Salford the right to hold annual fairs.

Salford became rich in manor houses throughout the Middle Ages, with early examples like Ordsall Hall still visitable today. When the English Civil War began in 1641, Salford declared for the Royalists. This created a conflict with neighbouring Manchester, which supported the Parliamentarians, leading to the Siege of Manchester in 1642. Manchester saw off the Royalist advances, setting up a rivalry that persisted throughout history.

The Industrial Revolution and Modern Salford

Salford’s small cottage industries in textiles and weaving were drastically changed by the Industrial Revolution. Cotton mills were built along the River Irwell that relied on a strong supply of water. With the 18th-century steam engine, mills were built closer to Salford’s centre and were among the first to utilise gas lighting. This thriving textile trade blossomed in tandem with the construction of canals and railways. Despite this manufacturing boom, working conditions were notably poor, influencing Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to produce their manifestos on the working classes.

Salford and Manchester both swelled in size as their industries thrived. However, like many other industrial cities, Salford declined in the post-industrial 20th century. Cotton spinning was entirely abandoned by the 1970s, and the area experienced decades of unemployment. The city took longer to revitalise than others in the UK, but the new millennium saw the regeneration of Salford Quays, one of the most significant developments in Salford’s modern era. In 2012, the BBC’s flagship breakfast panel show, BBC Breakfast, moved from London to the quayside MediaCityUK.

Salford’s Attractions

Salford offers a unique blend of medieval and industrial landmarks alongside contemporary quayside developments that host modern cultural events. These are among its tourist highlights:

The Lowry

Named after the noted painter L.S. Lowry and his paintings of industrial Salford, The Lowry is a theatre and art gallery designed by Michael Wilford in a contemporary expressionist style. It hosts a wide variety of festivals and performances, including live television recordings.


MediaCityUK is an 81-hectare multi-use waterfront development at Salford Quays. It hosts the BBC, which offers 90-minute studio tours. ITV’s Coronation Street is also produced here, with open sets just across the Manchester Ship Canal.

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Located close to Salford’s Peel Park in the university district, Salford Museum and Art Gallery originally opened as the UK’s first public library in 1850. It features local-focused artworks in its Victorian gallery and ceramic collection, as well as a wealth of temporary exhibitions.

Ordsall Hall

Ordsall Hall is a large Tudor mansion that was first completed in the 13th century. Its present building spans centuries of architectural additions, from Tudor timber frames to early modern brickwork. The hall exhibits period-style rooms, artworks and exhibits on its historic residents, as well as a ghost tour and knot gardens.

Introducing the New UK ETA for Salford

The United Kingdom’s entry requirements are about to change for most non-visa visitors. From 2024, the UK will implement its brand-new Electronic Travel Authentication (ETA) system. Outlined in the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, this new ETA will require visitors to apply online for a permit before they travel.

This new UK ETA will mostly affect non-visa non-visa nationals. These are visitors that do not need to apply for a visa for short-stay entry into the UK, whether for business or recreation. In total, some 91 countries will be affected by these rule changes, including American, European and Canadian nationals.

The UK’s ETA scheme has been developed to reflect similar systems used across the world today. These include the USA’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and the EU’s European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

Why UK’s ETA Has Been Launched

The UK announced its new ETA system as part of a broader migration plan. The ETA has been designed to pre-check visitors to the UK and better track the number of visitors to the country. This is an update on previous rules for non-visa nationals that only had to present their passport upon entry at the UK’s borders. Now, every visitor will be pre-screened and counted before arrival. This better protects the UK’s national security by flagging issues gleaned from criminal and immigration history.

For visitors to the UK, the ETA is a modern digital process that is completed online, bringing the UK’s entry requirements up-to-date with global demands. Upon receipt of an ETA, visitors can feel better assured of their permission to visit the UK.

The UK ETA for Salford Application Requirements

The ETA application is a straightforward form to be completed online. Unlike a standard visa process, the applicant does not need to visit a consulate or embassy in person. The application requires basic information regarding the applicant’s full name, date of birth, country of origin, contact and travel information. They will then be asked for their valid biometric passport and a payment card to pay the application fee.

How Long Is the ETA Application Process?

The entire UK ETA application should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Upon submission, the applicant will receive an ETA via email within 48 to 72 hours. Given this processing time, applicants must apply in sufficient time before their intended travel date.

An ETA permit will now be a requirement for entry into the UK. Airlines will be required to check their passengers to ensure they have a valid ETA before boarding. Failure to do so may lead to the person(s) being denied entry into the UK. Upon arrival in the UK, passengers proceed through eGates with their ETA confirmation to reduce time spent at the border.

How Long Will an ETA Typically Be Valid For?

The ETA has been drawn up similarly to the UK’s current Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme. This is valid for up to 180 days. Those planning to stay in the UK for a longer period will require a visa.

When Will the UK ETA for Salford Be Rolled Out?

The UK ETA system is now in its trial phase and will begin to roll out in January 2023. The system will be fully in place by the beginning of 2024.

Who Needs to Apply for an ETA, and Who is Exempt?

Most non-visa nationals must now apply for an ETA permit before they travel to the UK. For a full list of those non-visa nationals that will be affected, see here. ETA exemptions include Republic of Ireland passport holders and existing resident permit holders in the UK.

Citizens of countries that still require a visa to visit the UK will not be expected to apply for an ETA as well. This is because an ETA, or similar, is included within the standard visa process.

Is an ETA Required To Travel to Salford?

Yes. Non-visa nationals visiting Salford from 2024 will need to apply for an ETA before travelling. For more details on the latest ETA developments, see this ETA FAQ.

Visiting Salford With an ETA

Salford is a historic city in Greater Manchester that’s held a healthy rivalry with its renowned neighbour for centuries. The city’s modern attractions include the rejuvenated Salford Quays, a contemporary waterfront development that’s home to museums, media centres and a wealth of shopping and dining facilities. Visitors can also explore Manchester during their stay via convenient tram or bus links. Get to know the city’s rich Tudor and industrial heritage with a UK ETA for Salford.