UK announces major visit visa change for Bahrainis, GCC nationals
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The UK visit visa criteria for Bahrainis have been significantly modified, it has been announced. Visa requirements for Emiratis, Saudis, Qataris, Kuwaitis, Omanis, and also Jordanians have been repealed by the UK government.
Instead, they will be given a two-year Electronic Travel Authorisation costing just £10 (BD4.7).
This implies that Gulf citizens and Jordanians will face the same requirements for entry to the UK as Americans and Australians. Previously, GCC nationals had to apply for a £30 (BD14) document for every single visit.
This latest communication was posted on the website of the United Kingdom's government.
It stated that GCC citizens and Jordanians would soon be asked to pay only £10 to apply for an ETA, which will allow them to visit the UK numerous times in two years.
The new system is expected to begin for Qatari nationals in October 2023, followed by the remaining GCC member nations and Jordan in February 2024, before expanding globally throughout 2024.
In order to significantly improve border security and the customer experience, the UK government had earlier announced intentions to implement, by 2025, a new ETA programme as part of the UK border digitalization.
An ETA is a digital travel authorization for persons travelling or transiting through the United Kingdom who do not require a visa for short stays or do not presently possess another United Kingdom visa.
Gulf visitors are extremely vital to the UK economy, with over 790,000 spending £2 billion in the UK each year.
The application procedure for an ETA will be straightforward and quick and will be totally digital via a mobile phone app.
To apply, individuals must give biographic and biometric information, such as a digital photograph, as well as answer a set of suitability questions.