UK launches ETA program, offering visa exemption to eligible categories.

The recent launch of the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) program by the United Kingdom offers citizens visa exemption, marking a significant development in travel facilitation.

Citizens can now apply for the ETA, which commenced earlier this month, enabling travel to Britain under this permit starting February 22nd.

Issued within three working days, the ETA allows for unlimited visits to the UK during its validity period, with each stay not exceeding six months. The UAE Embassy in London clarified that four categories are eligible for obtaining an ETA: visitors without prior UK residency, tourists, family visitors, short-term workers, and students.

The application process comprises four straightforward steps, accessible through the UK ETA application or the GOV.UK platform. Applicants provide essential details such as contact information, passport particulars, personal photographs, and responses to a set of questions. Upon completion, a £10 application fee is paid. The ETA, valid for two years or until passport expiry, facilitates unrestricted travel to the UK.

Mansour Abulhoul, the UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, emphasized the program's role in bolstering bilateral ties and fostering economic, cultural, scientific, and political exchange. These streamlined procedures signify the onset of a new era in UAE-UK relations, marking a pivotal step towards closer cooperation.

In 2024, the Emirati passport maintained its status as the world's most powerful passport, as per the Passport Index by Arton Capital. UAE citizens enjoy visa-free access to 179 countries, including 127 countries without a visa requirement and 45 countries offering visas on arrival. The Emirati passport has held the title of the most powerful passport since December 1, 2018, demonstrating its resilience even amidst global crises.

The positive implications of this ease of movement extend beyond tourism and education, encompassing economic, developmental, and humanitarian aspects. The Emirati passport's continued prominence reflects its role in facilitating trade exchange, economic investment, and international cooperation for individuals and institutions alike. As the world navigates through challenging times, the Emirati passport remains a symbol of strength and opportunity, fostering global connectivity and collaboration.

Read also: Indian Customs arrested a passenger for smuggling gold from Gulf country

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