Wednesday, August 17, 2022

UK visa waiver for Gulf nationals from next year

Citizens of Gulf countries – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar – will be exempt from visa requirements to visit the United Kingdom from 2023, making them the first countries to benefit from the UK’s new visa scheme, the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).

Travelers from GCC countries will only need to apply online to get the entry permit (ETA), the UK’s Home Office said in a statement on Monday.

ETA, a UK-entry permit document available online, allows travelers from eligible nations to visit Great Britain for several purposes without acquiring a visa. The launch of ETA next year complements the British government’s decision to implement the electronic visa exemption system, starting from June, stated the ministry, adding it would fully exempt Bahrain and GCC citizens from visa requirements.

Welcoming the announcement by the British Home Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said under the new system, GCC nationals will not need a visa to visit UK from 2023.

“The mover will contribute to facilitating travel procedures for Bahrain and GCC citizens to the United Kingdom,” it said. 

“The new system requires those wishing to travel to Britain to apply for permission to travel once every two years, as it is valid for the aforementioned period, and for multiple visits,” it added.

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