Traveling to the United Kingdom (UK) will soon be cheaper and easier for Emiratis, Gulf country nationals, and Jordanians. The new Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme will only cost £10 (AED 45.50) per traveler.
Currently, visitors from UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia pay £30 (AED 137) per visit under the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme. Jordanians pay £100 (AED 456) for a visit visa.
ETA is digital permission for short stays or transit in the UK. It allows multiple visits within two years and eliminates the need for a visa.
ETA scheme aligns visa requirements for GCC states and Jordan with other countries like the US and Australia. The UK plans to digitize its border by 2025 for improved security and customer experience.
Qatar nationals can apply for the ETA in October 2023. The rest of the GCC states and Jordan will follow in February 2024, with a global expansion later.
Applying for the ETA is simple and fast. It is done online or through the app. Applicants provide biographic and biometric details, including a digital photo, and answer some questions.
The UK’s Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, recognized the Gulf states and Jordan’s significant contribution to UK tourism.
Last year, over 790,000 Gulf visitors spent around £2 billion (AED 9.12 billion) during their stays in the UK, boosting the country’s economy.