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UK include Jordan and Gulf nationals in the Electronic travel authorization

UK’s Electronic Travel Authorization Scheme Expands to Include Gulf & Jordanian Nationals. The United Kingdom has expanded the electronic travel authorisation (ETA) scheme to include nationals from the Gulf Cooperation (GCC) countries and Jordan. As part of this initiative, starting from February 22, 2024, citizens of

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Jordan will be able to make their travel experience to the UK cheaper and smoother. The ETA scheme replaces electronic visa waivers (EVW), and by the end of the year, it will apply to all foreigners who are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK. Along with Qatar citizens, who have been the first able to apply for their ETA since October 25, 2023, citizens of the six countries mentioned above will soon be able to make unlimited visits to the UK for periods of more than two years or until their passport expires, whichever comes first. The application fee for the ETA is only £10, which represents a significantly lower amount compared to the previous charges, where nationals of Gulf countries paid £30, and nationals of Jordan paid £115 for a single-use visitor visa. Visitors from the Gulf countries have been pivotal to the economy of the UK.

In 2022 alone, they contribute £2 million to the country during their stays. ETA is part of the government’s efforts to transform as well as digitize the border and immigration system, while at the same time ensuring a seamless experience for visitors.

As the UK authorities note, the security checks carried out on visitors pre-travel help them to strengthen the country’s border, prevent any abuse, and enhance safety. Highlighting the importance of the strong people-to-people links, the UK Home Secretary, James Cleverly, said that this scheme is an important step towards UK’s position as a leader in border innovation and security.

According to James cleverly chief home officer he has this to say “The ETA will improve the experience of travelling to the UK for the thousands of visitors from the Gulf and Jordan, who represent our second largest tourism market and contribute billions to the UK economy”

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates also praised the expansion of the ETA scheme. She said that the scheme will make travel to the UK cheaper, easier, and more accessible for Gulf nationals and Jordanians

The UK’s ETA scheme, which requires biographic and biometric information, is a simple and fast application process via a mobile app, with processing usually within three to four working days.

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