News Release HAMILTON, Bermuda The Ministry of Economy and Labour (the “Ministry”) takes this opportunity to provide information to the general public on the implementation of the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme.
The Ministry is pleased to advise that the UK Home Office has confirmed that British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) are exempt from the ETA requirement, in the same way that British Citizen (BC) passport holders are exempt. As is currently the case, when visiting the UK, BOTCs can travel to the UK without an ETA, provided they travel using either their BOTC or BC passports.
The UK began work on this scheme on October 25, 2023, and expects to undertake implementation in a phased manner, on a nationality-by-nationality basis, to ensure systems and processes operate effectively. The scheme will apply to those travellers visiting or transiting through the UK who do not currently need a visa for short stays or do not have a valid UK immigration status before travelling.
To ensure enforcement of the ETA scheme, the Home Office has been working closely with carriers to update their systems to enable an unhindered transfer of advance passenger information (API) to the Home Office, who, by a coded return message, will confirm that each traveller has permission to travel to the UK or if manual checks are required.
Because the Home Office does not have a central record of BOTCs, confirmations to the carriers will be on a case-by-case basis rather than via an automatic message.
Under the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, BOTCs who are not BCs and those who cannot produce evidence of their British Citizenship in the form of a full BC passport will be subject to immigration control upon arrival at the UK border control or when seeking to live, work, or study in the UK. As is currently the requirement, such travellers will be subject to UK immigration rules. BOTCs who are also BCs and want to rely on that status to work or study in the UK are encouraged to apply for a BC passport or certificate of entitlement to the right of abode to demonstrate their status to the relevant authorities.
For more information about the ETA scheme and how to apply, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-an-electronic-travel-authorisation-eta.