The move is set to ease travel for Qataris to the UK for business and tourism.
The UK government confirmed it has opened its Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme to Qatari nationals, who can now apply to travel to the UK.
The system, designed to create an ease when crossing the UK border, applies to those seeking to travel on or after 15 November of this year.
Qatar is the first country in the region that will be allowed to have its nationals apply for an ETA form, while other nationalities will need to wait till next year.
“I am pleased to announce that, starting today, Qatari citizens will be the first globally to benefit from the new UK Electronic Travel Authorization programme,” British Ambassador to Qatar Jon Wilks said,
“We appreciate the strong relations between the people of (UK) and Qataris make more than a million visits annually to (UK), and we look forward to welcoming many more,” the ambassador wrote on his social media channels.
The decision to include Qatar in the ETA scheme has been long in the works as it was announced last year during Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to the UK, where he met with various officials including the previous Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the late Queen Elizabeth II.
A document sent to Doha News by the UK Embassy highlights the details of the scheme, which will cost £10 and permits multiple journeys to the UK over two years, or until the holder’s passport expires – whichever is sooner.
The document adds that if an individual intends to visit the UK for longer than six months, they will need to obtain a relevant visa.
Visitors from the other Gulf Cooperation Council states and Jordan will be
able to apply for an ETA from 1 February 2024 before a worldwide rollout kicks off.
Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan are the countries featured in the February phase.