January 13, 2024

No More Visit Visa Needed for GCC and Jordan Citizens

The United Kingdom Government has decided to eliminate the need for visit visas for citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Jordan. This significant change means that citizens of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Jordan will no longer be required to apply for traditional visit visas. Instead, they will have the option to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) that will grant them entry to the UK for multiple visits over a two-year period, all for a reasonable fee of £10 (approximately $12). This monumental shift in entry requirements aligns Gulf travelers and Jordanians with citizens of the United States and Australia, making travel to the UK more accessible and affordable.

A Major Visa Change

The official announcement was made on the United Kingdom government website, stating that nationals from the GCC states and Jordan will soon be required to pay only £10 for an ETA, streamlining the visa process for them. Under the current Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme, Gulf nationals paid £30 for each visit, while Jordanian nationals paid a hefty £100 for a visit visa. This revision marks a significant reduction in costs, simplifying the process for tourists and business travelers alike.

Scheduled Launch and Worldwide Expansion

The new ETA scheme is set to launch for Qatari nationals in October 2023 and for the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Jordan in February 2024. Furthermore, the scheme is poised for a worldwide expansion throughout 2024. The United Kingdom's decision to introduce this new ETA scheme is part of its broader initiative to digitize the UK border by 2025. This endeavor aims to enhance both border security and the customer experience, providing a more streamlined and efficient entry process.

Benefits of the Electronic Travel Authorisation

An ETA is a digital permission to travel for individuals visiting or transiting through the UK who do not require a visa for short stays or who do not currently hold another United Kingdom visa. This innovation is set to make travel to the UK more accessible and affordable for Gulf visitors, thus bolstering the UK's tourism industry. According to Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, the cost of an ETA will be highly competitive compared to similar international schemes, making it one of the best value options worldwide. He emphasized that the small additional cost to visitors will enable the UK to strengthen its border security and maintain the safety of its communities.

Support from Government Officials

Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, Lord Ahmad, expressed his delight in the strong partnership between the UK and countries in the Gulf region. He believes that the ETA scheme, by reducing costs and visa requirements, will enhance travel ease, boost business ties, and strengthen tourism links between these countries.

Economic Impact

Gulf visitors are highly valuable to the UK economy, contributing significantly through tourism. In the previous year, over 790,000 Gulf citizens spent a staggering £2 billion (approximately $2.5 billion) during their stays in the United Kingdom. This highlights the economic significance of simplifying the visa process and making it more cost-effective for these travelers.

Simple and Fast Application Process

Applying for an ETA is expected to be straightforward and swift, with the entire process being digital through a mobile phone app. To apply, individuals will need to provide biographic and biometric details, such as a digital photograph, and answer a set of suitability questions.

In conclusion, the United Kingdom's decision to eliminate visit visa requirements for citizens of the GCC states and Jordan is a significant step forward in enhancing tourism, business ties, and overall travel convenience. The introduction of the Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme not only aligns the UK's entry requirements with those of the US and Australia but also demonstrates the UK's commitment to modernizing its border security and improving the overall visitor experience. With a simple and cost-effective application process, the UK is paving the way for a more accessible and enjoyable travel experience for citizens of these countries.

Pelican Migration Consultants: Your Trusted Partners in Visa Solutions

Embarking on international travel, whether for business or leisure, can be an exciting but complex journey, especially when dealing with visa applications and entry requirements. At Pelican Migration Consultants, we understand the importance of a smooth, stress-free process.

Our team of experienced immigration consultants in Dubai is dedicated to providing you with comprehensive support and guidance throughout the entire ETA application process. It is our pleasure to assist you in simplifying the complexities of visa procedures, ensuring that your journey to the United Kingdom is a seamless one.

When you choose Pelican Migration Consultants, you're choosing a trusted partner committed to your travel aspirations. Whether it's clarifying your doubts, assisting with documentation, or ensuring the accuracy of your application, we're here for you every step of the way.

With the recent visa changes benefiting GCC and Jordan citizens, we're here to help you make the most of this opportunity. Contact us today, and let's get started on your hassle-free journey to the UK. Your dream destination is just a click or call away, with Pelican Migration Consultants by your side.