Published: 2023-06-07 12:48
Last Updated: 2023-09-30 12:40
The UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme (ETA) will cost just GBP 10, making travel to Britain cheaper and easier for visitors from the Gulf and Jordan.
Nationals from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Jordan will soon only be required to pay USD 10 to apply for an ETA, which will allow them to visit the UK multiple times over a two-year period.
This is compared to Gulf nationals currently paying GBP 30 per visit to the UK under the current Electronic Visa Wavier (EVW) scheme and Jordanian nationals GBP 100 for a visit visa.
The scheme is set to launch for Qatari nationals in October 2023, and for the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council states and Jordan in February 2024 ahead of a worldwide expansion throughout 2024.
Earlier this year, the UK government announced plans to introduce a new ETA scheme as part of a digitization of the UK border by 2025 to further enhance border security and the customer experience.
An ETA is a digital permission to travel for those visiting or transiting through the UK who do not need a visa for short stays, or who do not currently hold another UK visa.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said:
“Visitors from the Gulf states and Jordan make a huge contribution to the UK’s tourism industry and the new ETA scheme will make it easier and cheaper for them to travel to the UK.”
“The cost of an ETA will be one of the best value in the world compared to similar international schemes. This small additional cost to visitors will enable us to bolster the security of the UK border and keep our communities safe.”
Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Lord Ahmad said:
“I’m delighted that our partners across the Gulf and Jordan will be the first to benefit from the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme. This scheme is further proof of the strong partnership between the UK and countries across the region.
“By cutting costs and visa requirements, the ETA scheme will ensure visitors from the Gulf states and Jordan can enjoy traveling with ease to the UK, boosting business and tourism links between our countries.”
Gulf visitors are highly valuable to the UK economy, with over 790,000 Gulf visitors spending GBP 2 billion during their stays in the UK last year.
The move to the ETA scheme means that the visa requirement will be removed for nationals from GCC states and Jordan, bringing the requirements for them to visit the UK in line with other visitors, such as those from the US and Australia.
The application process for an ETA will be simple and fast to complete, with the process being entirely digital via a mobile phone app. To apply, individuals will need to provide biographic and biometric details such as a digital photograph and answer a set of suitability questions.