UK Electronic Travel Authorisation for for GCC and Jordanian citizens Announced
The UK government will introduce an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme for nationals from Jordan and the six countries making up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in February 2024.
This means that travellers who own a current passport from United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan will no longer need a visa or visa waiver and will instead be eligible;
- 6 months visa-exempt travel to the United Kingdom for tourist or business activities, or to visit friends and family
- To remain for up to 3 months on the Creative Worker visa concession
- To transit through the United Kingdom
Applying for the ETA is expected to be through an online application form. Applicants will have to provide their;
- Personal details
- Passport data
- Travel information
- Answers to some basic security questions
In order to submit the online form, travellers will be required to have:
- Valid passport issued by a GCC country
- Bank card to pay the UK ETA fee
- A working email address for notifications
Major visa changes for GCC nationals and Jordanian citizens
An Electronic Travel Authorisation (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.
At the moment, GCC nationals are granted visa exceptions for the UK for stays up to 6 consecutive months and Jordanian citizens are required to obtain a visa before travelling to the UK.
However, in order to travel to the United Kingdom for a visa-exempt stay, GCC nationals are first required to apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver (UK EVW). An approved UK EVW allows the holder a 6-month stay in the United Kingdom for the following purposes Business & Tourism, Short-term study and Medical treatment reasons.
Those who wished to spend more than 6 consecutive months in the UK, or who wish to work, study long-term, or permanently reside in the UK need visas/permits to do so.
Perks of the UK Electronic Travel Authorisation Scheme
- Enhanced Access to the UK
Compared to the UK EVW for GCC citizens, an ETA grants holders a two-year multiple-entry visa. ETA holders also do not need to notify UK immigration authorities of travel itineraries or arrival times.
- Reduced Cost
The Uk Electronic travel scheme will ensure visitors from the Gulf states and Jordan can enjoy travelling with ease to the UK by cutting costs. Travellers will only have to pay £10 ($12.44) to apply for a UK ETA. GCC citizens currently pay over $30 to visit the UK, while for Jordanians it is over $120.
- Equitable and streamlined process
The ETA scheme eliminates the visa requirement for nationals from the six Arab countries and Jordanians, aligning their entry requirements with all international visitors to the UK.
Important to note
- Dual nationals with multiple passports are advised to a single passport to apply for an ETA when travelling to the United Kingdom. Once approved, a UK ETA is electronically linked to the traveller’s GCC passport.
- Applicants are advised to submit their UK ETA application from their home country at least 72 hours before travelling to the United Kingdom. The ETA is expected to be processed within 3 working days (except in the case of an immigration backlog). This ensures sufficient processing time.
We will keep updated on the rollout of the UK electronic travel scheme. If you have any queries about travelling to the UK, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org