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Updated 29 June 2022

The UK has received a large influx of foreign travellers to the nation after the government scrapped all of the Covid-19 entry requirements. In addition, the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme has now been introduced by the UK for all GCC and other eligible nationalities to facilitate smooth and easy travel access.

If you are a citizen of the UAE, from next year, you no longer require a visa before travelling to the United Kingdom next year. Keep reading to know more about the UK’s new ETA scheme for travellers from the UAE.

Do UAE residents need a visa to visit the UK?

At present, yes.

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If you travel to the UK on or before 31 December 2022, you will require a valid visa document for multiple entry visit. Alternatively, if you opt for a single entry visit, UAE is also among the six countries currently eligible to apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW). A non-refundable fee of £30 (AED 135.01) has to be paid by Emiratis from the UAE for the UK electronic visa waiver.

However, from 1 January 2023, under the UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, citizens of the UAE will no longer require a visa to travel to the United Kingdom.

 

UK ETA scheme for UAE residents

A United Kingdom Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is an entry permit document that will allow travellers from eligible nations to visit the United Kingdom for several different purposes without needing to acquire a visa. Foreign travellers will easily be granted travel permission to the UK without having to visit a UK embassy or consulate to apply for a visa.

In most cases, visitors with an ETA can stay in the UK for up to 6 months. With the new scheme being rolled out, the United Kingdom plans to digitalize its borders by 2025 completely.

Presently, travellers from the Gulf are using the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW), which allows them to complete an online waiver for each visit to the UK.

With the launch of the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme in the UK, by 2023, travellers from GCC nations (including the UAE) will only need to apply online to get a UK entry permit. UAE nationals will be granted easy access to the system, making it easier for Emirati citizens to travel to the United Kingdom.

The Electronic Travel Authorisation to the UK will be essential for travel from the UAE next year. UK ETA holders may simply scan their passport on arrival at the UK border to verify the entry permit electronically. UAE citizens who possess an Electronic Travel Authorisation will be able to stay in the country for several months at a time.

General requirements

The UK ETA application for UAE citizens is a quick and easy process and can be done a few days before departure to the UK. The ETA program allows visitors to apply online and set up the next steps, including filling up the online British ETA application form with all the required details.

To successfully apply for the UK Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, prospective travellers from the UAE will need to keep the necessary documents and information prepared. Applicants will be asked to submit details on personal, national, travel and security data as follows:

  • Personal details like name, date of birth, nationality and essential travel details
  • Valid biometric passport
  • A valid email address
  • A credit or debit card for payment of the required fee

Please ensure you have entered all the required information correctly before submitting your ETA application for approval. Any errors in the application could result in delays in its processing or even rejection of your ETA.

The UK ETA application form for UAE citizens will be available online at: https://www.etauk.uk/

UK ETA application

Travellers from the UAE must complete the ETA form online before arriving in the UK. The application process will only take about 10-15 minutes.

Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to apply online for the UK ETA scheme:

  1. Complete the application form with your correct personal and passport data.
  2. Select the ETA processing time.
  3. Answer a series of personal, security and travel questions.
  4. Pay the required fee with your debit or credit card.

Once the form has been submitted for approval, your application will be processed, and you will receive a response to your ETA application within 48 – 72 hours. You will either receive an interview date at your embassy or obtain the ETA via email.

UK ETA cost

The ETA cost from the UAE will vary based on your purpose for travel and the duration for how long you wish to stay. Generally, most travel authorizations cost nothing more than £122.

 

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