U K Waives Entry Visa Requirements for GCC Nationals

Emiratis and citizens of other G.C.C. countries can now apply online for an entry permit

In a landmark decision, the United Kingdom announced that Emiratis and other G.C.C. nationals do not require a visit visa to enter the U.K. from 2023 onwards.

Through the U.K.’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, eligible nationals, including those from the U.A.E., can acquire an entry permit to visit Britain for a variety of reasons without needing to apply for a visa. The scheme is part of the British government’s broader plan to implement a fully digital border by 2025.

The ETA’s straightforward application process will aid in assuring travellers of their plans at a much earlier stage. The permit is valid for multiple trips over an extended period of time.

“This move means that Gulf states will be among the first countries in the world to benefit from ETAs and visa-free travel to the U.K.,” said Priti Patel, British Home Secretary.

Until the new scheme is rolled out in 2023, those travelling to Britain from the U.A.E. and other G.C.C. countries can still use Electronic Visa Waivers. They must complete an online waiver for each visit to the U.K.