As the UAE has been added to a list of nations eligible for the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system which will start rolling from next year, all current travel and visa restrictions will be lifted along with other GCC countries.
The statement announced by the Home Office of the United Kingdom, which was tweeted by UAE UK Embassy, states that UAE citizens starting from 2023 will no longer require a visa to travel to the United Kingdom. Now travellers from the GCC will just need to submit an online application to obtain the entry permit (ETA).
ETA, is a UK entry permit document that may be obtained online, enables visitors from qualified countries to enter Great Britain for a variety of reasons without needing a visa.Once granted, an ETA is valid for multiple trips that will cover extended stays. Travelers from UAE can continue to use Electronic Visa Waivers, which can be completed online before their visit to the UK, until the introduction of ETAs in 2023.
The Home Office said that the application process is “straight forward” and that the scheme will “act as an additional security measure allowing the government to block threats from entering the UK, whilst also providing individuals with more assurance at an earlier point in time about their ability to travel.”
This move by the UK government can be seen as a part the government’s plan to make the country’s border fully digitalized by end of 2025.