UAE embassy announces Visa-Free Travel to UK, Bypassing Pre-Entry Requirements

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens planning trips to the United Kingdom will no longer require a pre-entry visa beginning February 1.

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The UAE Embassy in London announced the implementation of the 'Electronic Travel Authorisation' (ETA) scheme for Emiratis, allowing for a streamlined entry process.

Starting on February 1, interested individuals can apply for the entry permit through the 'UK ETA' app or on the official GOV.UK website. The ETA enables unlimited travel for a two-year period, and the application fee is £10 (approximately Dh47).

This development represents a significant milestone achieved through four years of collaborative efforts, signifying the commitment to strengthening the deep ties between the UAE and the UK, as stated in the announcement from the UAE Embassy in the UK. February 1, 2024, is marked as a new chapter in the relationship, providing Emiratis with eligibility for the ETA scheme.

The ETA scheme is extended not only to UAE nationals but also to citizens of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia who intend to visit the UK on or after February 22. The application process for the new ETA begins on Thursday, February 1, offering a convenient and efficient way for visitors to secure entry authorization.

The ETA application process is designed to be quick, user-friendly, and entirely digital. Most applicants are expected to use a mobile app for submission, receiving prompt decisions on their applications. It's important to note that an ETA is distinct from a visa; it authorizes travel to the UK but does not grant entry. Upon arrival, individuals with an ETA must still obtain leave to enter, following the existing process by interacting with a Border Force Officer or using an eGate if eligible.

Many of the UK's international partners, including the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have adopted a border security strategy in line with the implementation of the ETA scheme. To enhance security measures, applicants are required to provide biometric details and answer suitability questions, contributing to the prevention of potentially dangerous individuals, such as criminals, from entering the UK.

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