UK ETA for Wakefield Requirements for International Arrivals

Wakefield is a historic cathedral city in West Yorkshire located just 10 miles south of Leeds. Wakefield prospered in the industrial age when its main industries were malt, milling and mining. While these industries waned in the 20th century, Wakefield still possesses a well-preserved Victorian and Georgian centre. Wakefield remains a popular base for excursions with plenty of attractions on its doorstep, including access to the Yorkshire countryside and Peak District. Visitors to this city should prepare for the new UK ETA for Wakefield in 2023, a new mandatory permit for people travelling to the UK.

A Brief History of Wakefield

Early Settlement into Mediaeval Market Town

There is evidence of settlement in and around Wakefield since the Bronze Age, with Wakefield Museum holding several artefacts discovered in the region. Like much of Yorkshire, Wakefield was occupied at the time of the Roman invasion by the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe. While no significant Roman settlements are known in the area, a road from Pontefract passed through what is now Wakefield for Manchester. Many street names in Wakefield are derived from Viking presence in the 9th century, with the suffix “gate” meaning road, from gata in Old Norse.

Wakefield was recorded in the Domesday Book after the Norman conquest, with its name taken from “Waca’s field”. Wakefield flourished under Norman rule, with a new church built at the centre of the town. This church would be rebuilt over time and become Wakefield Cathedral in the 14th century. By 1203, Wakefield became a market town under royal declaration, giving it the nickname “Merrie City”. This has led some historians to theorise Robin Hood was based in the area. The Battle of Wakefield took place nearby during the War of the Roses in 1460 and saw Richard, the Duke of York, killed. Few buildings remain from this period, except Chantry Chapel, located a mile from the infamous battle site.

Industrial Growth and Decline

While Wakefield was a lucrative cattle market and wool trading town, its fortunes changed at the turn of the 19th century. Canals and waterways were built, linking Wakefield with Manchester to Leeds and beyond. This spurred greater trading and the building of warehouses and grain stores. The coming of the railways further exacerbated this growth. Coal pits were opened, and steam-powered mills were built along the waterfront while diversified industries like brewing, brick-making and glass-blowing grew. Wakefield was awarded city status in 1888.

Like many other manufacturing cities, the 20th century brought a slow decline. By the 1970s, much of the original textile industries had disappeared, and Wakefield was the first of Yorkshire’s coal mining areas to close its pits. The city has preserved this industrial heritage in numerous attractions and heritage sites. Today, Wakefield has prospered more as a satellite city of Leeds and is known as the rhubarb-growing centre of the UK.

Wakefield’s Attractions

Wakefield Cathedral

Wakefield Cathedral is one of the city’s oldest landmarks. Built on the site of a Norman church in 1329, it was enlarged in 1469 in its current Gothic style. The interiors contain many architectural and artefactual treasures, from mediaeval green men carvings to modern mouse-engraved furniture by Robert Thompson.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery located in Bretton Hall’s sprawling estate grounds, 6 miles from Wakefield city centre. It contains an important collection of original artworks by local sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, as well as changing contemporary exhibits.

Hepworth Wakefield

Hepworth Wakefield is an art museum on the River Calder and a modern successor to Wakefield Art Gallery. Named after Wakefield-born artist Barbara Hepworth, its collection spans 16th-century paintings, modernist sculptures and contemporary art.

National Coal Mining Museum for England

The National Coal Mining Museum for England details the country’s coal-mining heritage from a former colliery in Overton. The museum offers underground tours and a vast collection of mining equipment and memorabilia.

Introducing the New UK ETA for Wakefield

From 2023, the United Kingdom will begin to implement its new Electronic Travel Authentication (ETA) system. This scheme was first outlined in 2022’s Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and is currently being trialled. The ETA will greatly affect how visitors prepare for travel to the UK, with an online application now mandatory.

The new UK ETA for Wakefield will predominantly affect non-visa nationals. These are those travelling from some 91 countries that do not require a visa for short stays in the UK. While a visa is still not a technical requirement, these non-visa nationals must now apply for permission to enter in the form of an ETA.

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 Authorisation (ESTA), Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), and the EU’s European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Why Is the ETA System Being Launched Now?

The UK announced its new ETA system as part of wider changes to migration rules. It is specifically designed to pre-check and tally visitors arriving in the UK. Previous rules didn’t require pre-authorisation and, therefore, offered a less effective screening of potential threats. From 2023, non-visa visitors will no longer be able to travel with just a passport — they must apply for an ETA to flag criminal or migration issues.

For visitors to the UK, the ETA offers a level of reassurance that they are travelling legally into the UK. What’s more, this is all done conveniently online with no need to travel to an embassy, consulate or visa centre.

The UK ETA for Wakefield Application Requirements

All non-visa visitors must apply for a UK ETA online before arriving in the UK. This ETA application is designed to be completed quickly online with a simple form. Applicants must supply their full name, date of birth, and country of origin, as well as basic travel information and contact details. They must also submit a valid biometric passport and a payment card to pay the fee.

How Long Will the ETA Application Process Take?

The UK ETA will take roughly 10 minutes to complete online. After submitting this online form, there will be a processing time of 48 to 72 hours. This will allow for last-minute travel arrangements but not same-day travel. Applicants should always apply with enough time before they commence travel to avoid any issues.

An ETA will now be a requirement for entry. Failure to present an ETA may lead to the traveller being denied entry or flagged. Most airlines will also check their passengers to ensure they have a valid ETA before boarding. Upon arrival in the UK, passengers can now proceed through fast eGates to limit time spent at the border.

How Long Will an ETA Typically Be Valid For?

The UK’s ETA is expected to be valid for 180 days. This is similar to the UK’s existing Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme. Those planning a longer stay in the UK or intending on successive visits must apply for a visa.

When Will the UK ETA for Wakefield Be Rolled Out?

The UK ETA system is in its trial phase right now and will begin to roll out in January 2023. Full implementation is expected by the beginning of 2024.

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

All non-visa nationals must now apply for an ETA. Find a list of those non-visa nationals now eligible for an ETA here. Exemptions include Republic of Ireland passport holders and resident permit holders in the UK.

Nationals from countries that do require a visa will not also be asked to submit an ETA application. This is because a similar process is included in a standard visa application.

Is an ETA required to Travel to Wakefield?

Yes. Non-visa international visitors to Wakefield will be required to apply for an ETA online when the scheme becomes active in 2023. Get more detailed information on the latest ETA developments with this comprehensive ETA FAQ.

Visiting Wakefield With an ETA

Wakefield is a northern city that’s famous for its industrial past and well-preserved Victorian and Georgian architecture. Nestled close to Leeds and York, with easy access to the M1 motorway, it’s a well-placed base for exploring Yorkshire. The surrounding region unveils a wealth of sprawling country estates and mediaeval ruins, from Sandal Castle to Nostell Priory. It also boasts a thriving arts heritage, with collections from Wakefield-born artists Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Visit these attractions and more with a UK ETA for Wakefield.