Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to Get UK Electronic Visa Waiver Status From June 01

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The Home Office of the UK has announced that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will join the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with electronic visa waiver status.

From 1 June 2022, nationals of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain can apply to travel to the UK (for tourism, business, study or medical treatment) for up to 6 months with an electronic visa waiver.

The move will maintain security and efficient border processes, ensuring that all necessary security checks are completed prior to travel while allowing visitors to pass through the UK border smoothly.

UK Electronic Visa Waiver

An electronic visa waiver allows the holder to travel to the UK without obtaining a visa provided they complete an online waiver for each visit. A small fee of £30 will be applied, and it is quicker than applying for a visa as there is no need to provide biometric information (photo and fingerprints), attend a visa application centre or hand in your passport in advance of travel.

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An EVW lets you visit the UK for up to 6 months for tourism, business, study or medical treatment. If you’re visiting for another reason, check if you need a visa instead.

You must apply between 3 months and 48 hours before you travel.

To apply for UK’s Electronic Visa Waiver you need:

  • Your current passport.
  • An address in the UK where you will stay.
  • Details of your journey, including departure and arrival dates and times.

Before you apply

You must enter your personal details so they match your passport exactly. This includes any punctuation, for example, spaces, hyphens, apostrophes or full stops.

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  • Your travel details must also be exactly right.
  • You will not be allowed to travel if your personal or travel details are wrong.
  • Each person travelling needs their own EVW, including children.
  • If someone applies on your behalf, they must enter their own contact details as well as yours.

After you apply

You’ll get an email within 24 hours with a link to download your EVW.

Show your EVW when you travel to the UK. You can print it or show it on an electronic device, such as a phone or tablet.

You cannot use your EVW to:

  • work in the UK
  • get married or register a civil partnership

Your EVW will only let you enter the UK once. You must get another EVW or a visa if you want to enter the UK again.

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Changes to your travel plans

You must change your travel details on your EVW if you:

  • decide to travel at a different time
  • leave from or arrive at a different airport, port or train station than planned
  • arrive in the UK more than 8 hours later than planned

You’ll need your EVW number and your date of birth to change your details.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

This visa waiver for Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will better connect the people of our countries and boost economic prosperity.

The electronic visa waiver is a quick, digital alternative to the regular visit visa and ensures all the necessary security checks are carried out in advance of travel. The visa improvements announced today will provide greater security for our citizens while making it easier and cheaper for visitors from the Gulf to travel here for leisure and business.

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