No Visas required to enter Britain for visitors from Oman, Qatar, UAE from January 2014!

The British Home office announced that visitors from Persian Gulf Arab states of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will not need visas to enter the UK from 1st January 2014.

Britain and the UAE are traditionally strategic allies and have been deepening their relations in recent years. Britain backed
Dubai’s bid to host the World Expo in 2020 which the UAE sheikhdom won on Nov. 27.

no visas to enter britain

no visas to enter britain for visitors from Oman, Qatar, UAE

The new rules will be applicable to those who want to stay in the UK for less than six months. British Home Secretary, Theresa May announced “a new straightforward and free alternative to a visa for short-term visitors” from the three countries.
May intends to extend the plans to cover Kuwait later next year.

“Britain is open for business and genuine visitors and tourists coming here to enjoy our world class attractions, study or do business are always welcome,” she said in a written statement to parliament.

The British embassy in Abu Dhabi added that Emirati nationals only have to submit a request through their website to get a free pass to travel to the European Union state.

Passport holders of the countries “will, from 1 January 2014, be able to travel to the UK visa-free if they have obtained an electronic visa waiver (EVW) document online at least 48 hours in advance of travel to the United Kingdom, and present the document to an Immigration Officer upon request on arrival,” the statement added.

visa waiver

visa waiver

An EVW is very simple to complete, free of charge and quicker than applying for a visa. There is no requirement to provide biometrics, attend a visa application centre or hand in passports prior to travel. The document is issued immediately via a secure website and can be obtained online from anywhere in the world for travel to the UK. Travellers must complete their EVW online at least 48 hours before departure and present a printed copy on departure and again on arrival. The EVW Document is only valid for a single entry to the UK on the date and time specified. The biographic details on the EVW Document must match exactly with the holder’s passport.

Those who travel frequently, at short notice or may need to re-enter the UK as part of the same trip, are advised to apply for a multi-entry visitor visa or longer-term visa. This offers more flexibility and can last up to ten years. Those wishing to work, study or visit the UK for longer than six months must obtain a visa and cannot travel on an EVW Document.

Britain has received a 29 per cent rise in business and tourist visas from the Middle East in the last year, the Home Office said.

Sharanya Bharathwaj