UK announces major visa changes for GCC nationals, Jordanian citizens

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

The United Kingdom has announced major visa changes for citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Jordan that will make it easier for them to travel to the UK.

Under the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorization scheme (ETA), GCC citizens and Jordanians will only have to pay $12.44 (£10) to apply for an ETA granting them a two-year multiple entry visa.

An ETA grants travelers digital permission for those visiting or transiting through the UK who do not need a visa for short stays or who do not currently hold another UK visa, the country’s Home Office said in a statement.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Citizens of GCC countries and Jordan will be the first to benefit from the scheme, which “will bring the requirements for them to visit the UK in line with other visitors, such as those from the US and Australia.”

It added that the government will implement the new system for Qatari nationals in October 2023 and for the rest of the GCC countries and Jordan in February 2024.

“I’m delighted that our partners across the Gulf and Jordan will be the first to benefit from the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorization scheme. This scheme is further proof of the strong partnership between the UK and countries across the region,” Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Lord Ahmad said.

Noting the contribution of Gulf nationals and Jordanians to the country’s tourism industry, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said the scheme would make it easier and cheaper for GCC citizens and Jordanians to visit the UK.

Currently, Gulf nationals pay $37 (£30) per visit to the UK under the current Electronic Visa Wavier (EVW) scheme, while Jordanians pay $124 (£100) for a visit visa.

“The cost of an ETA will be one of the best value in the world compared to similar international schemes. This small additional cost to visitors will enable us to bolster the security of the UK border and keep our communities safe,” Jenrick said.

According to the Home Office, 790,000 individuals from GCC countries visited the UK in 2022, spending $2.5 billion (£2 billion) during their stay.

Visitors can apply for an ETA through a simple process that can be completed through a mobile phone application, according to the Home Office.

“To apply, individuals will need to provide biographic and biometric details such as a digital photograph and answer a set of suitability questions,” it added.

Read more:

For Visa Waiver Program, Israel must not discriminate against Palestinian-Americans

After Australia ban on Indian students, envoy to India urges caution over consultants

Kuwait open to negotiate with Philippines on entry ban if conditions met: Ministry

Top Content Trending