UAE-UK travel: Residents can now get a visa in 15 days

Travel agents say passenger traffic to the European nation has increased after ease issuance becomes faster


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 2:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 29 Jan 2023, 10:12 PM

The visa processing time for UAE residents travelling to the United Kingdom (UK) has been substantially reduced which has resulted in increased passenger traffic to the European country.

UAE residents were experiencing visa delays in 2022 due to multiple factors including, a significantly higher demand for travel and a passenger cap levied by the London Heathrow airport.

During the summer of last year, many residents cancelled their travel plans to the UK as the visitor visa processing time had exceeded seven weeks. London is one of the most popular destinations as thousands of UAE residents fly to the city for short and long holidays as well as summer breaks. Last year, London Heathrow airport’s decision to cap departing passengers at 100,000 per day also impacted flights.

“The processing time for UK visas has reverted to the 15 working days standard, and the turnaround time for Priority and Super Priority visas have likewise normalised,” VFS Global said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

Atish Thapa, head of marketing and business development, Cleartrip, said travel to the UK has become easier than it used to be as Covid-19 restrictions have been removed, capacity has been increased by airlines, airfares have gone down and getting a visa is also much faster.


“Emirates and British Airways have increased capacity so the airfares have gone down from the peak level seen last year. UK immigration is giving visas faster and businessmen can even get visas in 48 hours at times, depending on the requirement. Hence, there is a sizeable increase in travel and traffic to Europe, specifically the UK,” added Thapa.

The Dubai-based carrier has announced it will resume its second daily service to London Stansted in May 2023, boosting its London operations to 11 daily flights, including six times daily to London Heathrow and three times daily to Gatwick. It will also scale up its A380 operations with the iconic double-decker returning to Birmingham on July 1, 2023.

Mir Wasim Raja, manager of MICE & Holidays at Galadari International Travel Services, also confirmed that visas are being processed faster now, taking approximately 15 days to a month for the residents.

“Visas are being processed and approved faster as compared to last year. Therefore, we are getting a good number of queries and bookings for travel to the UK. A good number of families are also booking now to travel to the Eid Al Fitr holidays in April,” he said.

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