Good news for short-term visitors from the Middle East
09 December 2013
Theresa May, Secretary of State for the Home Department, delivered a statement in the Commons today announcing changes to the Immigration Rules to provide a new, straightforward and free alternative to a visa for short-term visitors from Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. It is intended to extend similar arrangements to Kuwait later in 2014.
The new arrangements mean that passport holders of Oman, Qatar and the UAE will, from 1 January 2014, be able to travel to the UK visa-free if they have obtained an electronic visa waiver (EVW) document online at least 48 hours in advance of travel to the United Kingdom. There is no fee for the documentation form, which is to be downloaded and printed for presentation to an Immigration Officer upon request on arrival.
The change follows increases in tourists and business visitors from these countries in the past year, with a 29% rise in visit visas issued to nationals from the Middle East. Globally, visit visas to the UK have increased by 15%.
For further information go to www.gov.uk/government/speeches/statement-of-changes-in-immigration-rules–6