UK approves 99% of Emirati visa applications

UAE nationals were issued 5,940 UK visas between July 2017 and June 2018



The United Kingdom approved 5,940 visas during July 2017 to June 2018, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Each visa was issued in an average of three working days, well within the standard processing time of 15 working days, Julia Longbottom, director for consular affairs in foreign and commonwealth office told WAM.

Since 2015, the UK has also been issuing the electronic visa waiver (EVW) to Emiratis, an alternative to visas where UAE nationals can travel to the UK for tourism, business, study or medical treatment purposes and stay up to six months.

The EVW scheme permits them to travel without a visa. Emirati travellers can submit their details online between three months to 48 hours prior to travel.

The UAE is one of four countries part of the EVWs scheme.

“All EVWs are processed within 24 hours regardless of when they are submitted,” Longbottom said.

In May this year, travellers from seven non-European Union countries – Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States – were permitted to use ePassport gates to enter the UK.

Since 2008, these gates are accessible to British and EU nationals. EU nationals can continue to use them once the UK exits the EU, WAM reported.

“The expansion of the number of nationalities eligible to use the UK’s ePassport gates in May this year is a significant change to our border processes and it will need to be monitored before any further expansion can be considered,” she said.

In the year ending September 2018, 51.9 million passengers used the gates in the UK and nearby controls.