• Sunday, March 03, 2024
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BusinessDay

Japa: UK set to lift visa restrictions for Saudi Arabia, 5 other countries

ARABS Travelling to the UK (1)

The United Kingdom government has said that it will lift visa restrictions for passport holders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, and Bahrain coming into the country very soon.

In essence, passport holders from these countries will not need a visa for entry into the UK.

These countries, all on the Arab Peninsula, will be added to the prestigious list of countries eligible for its Electronic Travel Authorisation system.

According to a South African news agency, the UK government issued a statement announcing that these affected countries are to be moved to the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system.

An ETA is an electronic travel permit for travellers who do not need a visa to visit or transit through the UK for short stays.

Moreover, passport holders from Qatar visiting the UK have been able to enter the UK with an ETA since November 15 this year.

With the Electronic Travel Authorisation, travellers from eligible countries will be allowed to enter the UK from February 22.

Under the new arrangement, eligible travellers are required to apply for an ETA, costing £10 for travel purposes.

According to some travel news organisations, the reason for abolishing the visa entry restrictions for the Gulf countries is that travellers numbering 790,000 in 2022 spent around £2 billion this year.

The ETA scheme will make it easier for people from Gulf countries to visit the UK by cutting costs and visa rules. It’s also meant to boost business and tourism between these countries.