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Posted On: 9 March 2023 07:09 pm
Updated On: 9 March 2023 07:29 pm

Qatari visitors to be the first to apply for UK's new travel scheme

Tracy Quirino
Tracy Quirino
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Visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Jordan will be the first to benefit from the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme ahead of a worldwide expansion of the scheme throughout 2024. Qatari visitors will be the first to be able to apply for an ETA in October 2023.

Visitors will benefit from smooth and efficient travel by applying for an ETA in advance. The application process will be quick, light touch and entirely digital, with most visitors applying via a mobile app and receiving a swift decision on their application. The cost of an ETA will be in line with similar international schemes, and individuals can make multiple visits to the UK over a 2-year validity period.

The scheme is said to further strengthen UK's border by ensuring robust security checks are conducted on every visitor pre-travel.

As part of the application process, individuals must provide biometric details and answer suitability questions. This will ensure we have information on those seeking to come to the UK, helping to prevent dangerous individuals, such as criminals, from entering the UK.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said:

Strengthening our border remains one of the Government’s top priorities.
ETAs will enhance our border security by increasing our knowledge about those seeking to come to the UK and preventing the arrival of those who pose a threat.
It will also improve travel for legitimate visitors, with those visiting from Gulf Cooperation Council states being among the first to benefit.

After the initial launch for Qatar, visitors from the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Jordan can apply for an ETA from February 2024. The new scheme will entirely replace the current Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) Scheme, which requires visitors to the UK from GCC states to pay a higher cost for a single-use visit.

By the end of 2024, ETAs will be a requirement worldwide for visitors who do not need a visa for short stays, including those visiting from Europe. Visitors from Europe and other nations such as America and Australia do not currently need to make any form of application to visit the UK; however, this will be changing with the introduction of ETAs.

British and Irish nationals will not need an ETA to travel to the UK. As is currently the case, however, individuals arriving in the UK via Ireland will still be subject to UK immigration requirements, including the need for visitors to have an ETA. Those legally resident in Ireland will not need an ETA when travelling to the UK from within the Common Travel Area.

Source: Gov.UK
Cover image credit: Shutterstock (For representation purposes only)