UK launches electronic visa waiver scheme for 4 GCC countries including Qatar
Following concerns over the arduous process of obtaining a UK entry visa, the UK Home Office has announced the launch of a new Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) scheme early next year for four GCC countries, including Qatar.
As per the scheme, applicants will need to submit an EVW online 48 hours prior departure. Unlike the existing visa procedure, there will be no need for applicants to set up an appointment at the visa application centre or provide biometric information or submit travel documents. The EVW is free of charge, and is valid for visits of up to six months.
However the scheme is applicable only for a tourist visa. A visa for work or study will have to be applied the usual way.
Currently, the UK visa application fee for a six-month validity is $132(QR480) and takes a minimum of three weeks for processing.
According to a report in Telegraph, the change in UK visa rules was to “make it easier for wealthy foreign investors to enter the UK”, quoting British Prime Minister David Cameron as saying: “We want to do more to attract investors from the Gulf.”
Further details will be made available later on the UK Border Agency website.