UAE: No pre-entry visa needed for citizens travelling to UK from today

New permit allows visitors to travel for an unlimited number of times for two years

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 9:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Feb 2024, 5:28 PM

UAE citizens planning to travel to the UK will no longer need a pre-entry visa starting February 1. They are now eligible for the 'Electronic Travel Authorisation' (ETA) scheme, as announced by the UAE Embassy in London on Wednesday.

Emiratis wanting to travel to the UK, can apply via the 'UK ETA' app or on GOV.UK from February 1 to get entry permit, which allows travel for an unlimited number of times for a period of two years for £10 (Approx. Dh47).

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"This significant milestone is the result of four years of collaborative effort and a symbol of our commitment to strengthening our deep ties," said the statement from UAE Embassy UK.

"February 1, 2024 marks a new chapter in the relationship between the UAE & UK. Emiratis wanting to visit the UK will now be eligible for the new ‘Electronic Travel Authorisation’ (ETA) scheme."

UAE nationals, along with Bahrainis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Omani, and Saudi citizens visiting the UK on or after February 22, will only need a new ETA. They can apply for this starting Thursday, February 1.

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.

An ETA is not a visa; it does not permit entry into the UK but authorises an individual to travel to the UK. On arrival, an individual will still need to obtain leave to enter, as per the process now, by seeing a Border Force Officer or using an eGate if eligible to do so.

The scheme is in line with the approach many of the UK’s international partners have taken to border security, including the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, they added.

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

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