UK events industry to benefit from Gulf quick visa scheme

Visit Britain has welcomed the introduction of a quick visa scheme for visitors to the UK from Oman, Qatar and the UAE from January 2014.

UK events industry to benefit from Gulf quick visa scheme
UK events industry to benefit from Gulf quick visa scheme

The new electronic visa waiver (EVW) is free of charge and is a fast alternative to a visit visa application.

Those eligible for the EVW will be able to travel to the UK after completing and printing a short online form, 48 hours before travel. 

It is intended that the quick visa process will be extended to Kuwait during 2014.

In the past year, the number of business visitors and tourists from the Middle East requiring a visit visa has risen by 29%. Globally, visit visas to the UK have increased by 15%.

UKVI has made a number of improvements to the visa system in the last year in order to attract more business travellers and visitors to the UK. For example, announcing same-day visa services and mobile visa service in India and China and the further rollout of premium services such as the three to five-day visa processing. 

Key stats:

In the year from Sept 2012 to Sept 2013, visit visas for Chinese nationals were up annually 40%, 23% in Russia and 7% in India.

For the same period, UAE visitors were up by 43%, 39% in Qatar, 32% in Oman and 40% in Kuwait. 

The UK is the second most visited destination by residents of the UAE, with the number of visits doubling in the last ten years. 

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