Britain Officially Launches Electronic Travel Authorization for Gulf Countries and Jordan

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Britain Officially Launches Electronic Travel Authorization for Gulf Countries and Jordan

4 months ago (02 February 2024)

 

 

Britain has officially announced the opening of the application process for Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for citizens of Gulf countries and Jordan. Starting from the first day of February 2024, travelers holding passports from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Jordan can apply for the British ETA. They will be able to use it for visa-free travel to the UK starting from February 22, 2024.

The Electronic Travel Authorization system is a new initiative by Britain for travelers not requiring visas for tourism and short visits. It was initially implemented on October 25, 2023, for Qatari citizens in the first phase. Now, in its second phase, citizens of the Gulf countries and Jordan are included as eligible nationalities to apply. It is expected to expand in subsequent phases to encompass all nationalities exempt from UK visas, including European Union citizens and United States citizens.

For citizens of Gulf countries, the ETA replaces the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) system. For Jordanians, its addition signifies the official exemption of Jordanian passport holders from requiring a UK visitor visa, effective from February 22, 2024. This is the earliest date they can use the ETA to enter the UK without a visa.

One advantage of this system is the ease of online application without the need to visit embassies, consulates, or visa centers. The processing time for the authorization is three working days, and its validity extends for up to two years, as long as the associated passport remains valid. It can be used for unlimited trips to the UK during that period for tourism, business, visiting family and friends, or short-term studies.

UK Home Secretary James Cleverly praised this significant step, emphasizing its importance: "The Electronic Travel Authorization will enhance the travel experience to the United Kingdom for thousands of visitors from the Gulf and Jordan, representing our second-largest tourist market and contributing billions to the British economy." These remarks were made during an event attended by ambassadors from Gulf countries and Jordan, along with representatives from the tourism and travel sectors. Statistics already show that in 2022, nearly 800,000 visitors from the Gulf region visited Britain, spending approximately £2 billion, explaining the special attention given by the British government to tourists from these countries due to their significant economic impact on the country.

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