From next month, Bahrain and Saudi nationals that visit the UK for a period of up to six months for either business, study, medical treatments or tourism will no longer be required to obtain a Visit Visa ahead of their travel date. In place of this, they may choose to apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) to travel to the UK.
Enhancing diplomatic and economic ties, this move ensures the two countries join a host of other Gulf Cooperation Council states that already hold electronic visa waiver status.
The EVW offers a faster, easier, and cheaper process to visit the UK than a Visit visa, whilst maintaining necessary security checks.
Costing £30, an application can be made between three months and 48 hours in advance of travel. There are no requirements for applicants to provide biometrics, attend a Visa Application Centre or surrender passports in advance of travel for an EVW as there is with visas and the visa requirements for work, study and settlement in the UK remain in place.
As an additional move to transitioning over to the new EVW, customers who have already applied for a Visit visa and have not submitted their biometrics (fingerprints) can withdraw their application and receive a refund on their visa fee. Withdrawals can be made here: www.gov.uk/cancel-visaIndividuals