KUWAIT CITY, Dec 27: The United Kingdom announced that all countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council will move to the electronic travel authorization (ETA) system as of February 2024.
The British government indicated that citizens of the Gulf countries will not need visas when visiting the United Kingdom, as the British authorities will work to improve border operations to facilitate the entry of tourists, students and businessmen.
Meanwhile, the British Ambassador to Kuwait, Belinda Lewis, told Al-Qabas that the new visa system will be introduced from the beginning February 2024 and indicated that the application of the ETA for Kuwaiti citizens will make travel to the United Kingdom much easier and more flexible, and there will be no need to get a visit visa.
The British envoy confirmed the UK government readiness to implement the new visa system, expressing her hope that this new system will encourage more Kuwaitis to visit the United Kingdom, explaining that tourists can apply for an electronic travel permit valid for two years for 10 British pounds, i.e. It is equivalent to 3.7 Kuwaiti dinars, whether for adults, children or infants, starting from February 1, 2024, and said it takes about three working days to complete the application.
She added, a large number of people have applied for the old Visa Waiver Scheme (EVW) but the Home Office does not keep figures on the number of people from each country.
Lewis praised the depth of bilateral relations between the two countries, explaining that the United Kingdom and Kuwait will continue to benefit from the close friendship “we share to develop new areas of cooperation, noting that the volume of trade has witnessed remarkable growth after reaching 5.1 billion pounds sterling, an increase of 66.8% over last year.”
She went on to say, “Our defense and security partnerships have also flourished, including cybersecurity, air and maritime security, military cooperation, and counter-terrorism cooperation, and ties between individuals have strengthened, which is reflected in the presence of about 10,000 Kuwaiti students in world-class UK universities.”
She added: “Locally, the British Council continues to provide training and testing in the English language in partnership with local schools and colleges, as more than 6,000 students took IELTS exams through the Council.
She said the British officials are currently working to agree on a new date for holding the tenth meeting of the Joint Steering Committee during the first three months of 2024 in London, explaining that many events have been postponed due to the death of the late Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad.
She pointed out that the nineteenth meeting of the Joint Steering Group between the United Kingdom and Kuwait (JSG) was held in Kuwait City last February.
She pointed out that the first strategic dialogue between the United Kingdom and Kuwait was held last March, and it was a good opportunity for our Foreign Minister and the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister to discuss important matters and foreign policy topics.
The British Ambassador praised the four visits made by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad to the United Kingdom, the last of which was in October to attend a special meeting with the King of Britain, considering that these visits represent a prominent and important point.
The British Ambassador renewed her condolences on the death of the late Amir, His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, noting that he left behind an important legacy. He passed away after a career devoted to public service, and made significant contributions to enhancing regional stability, alleviating humanitarian crises and strengthening relations between the United Kingdom and Kuwait.
Ambassador Belinda Lewis praised the military and defense cooperation between the two countries, noting that a number of successful joint military exercises had been conducted between the two sides, especially the British-Kuwaiti Desert Warrior exercise.
She added, close cooperation between our militaries continues to play a key role in maintaining our security and mutual prosperity.
The post United Kingdom preparing to launch the new visa system in February 2024 first appeared on ARAB TIMES – KUWAIT NEWS.
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