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Smoother travel option to UK for Omanis from Feb 1

6 Jan 2024 Smoother travel option to UK for Omanis from Feb 1 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Applications for Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) will open for Omani nationals looking to travel to the UK starting February, according to the UK embassy in Oman.

In a statement, the UK embassy said, ‘The UK’s ETA scheme will open for Omani nationals, who can now benefit from cheaper and smoother travel. In four weeks (February 1, 2024), applications for ETA will open for Omani nationals looking to travel to the UK from February 22, 2024.’

Each year, the UK welcomes millions of visitors from around the world. From holidays to short-term study or business trips, the UK is a dynamic, diverse and exciting destination. The statement added that travel to the UK is about to become cheaper and more seamless.

‘ETAs are being introduced as part of our transformation and digitisation of the UK border. They will enable a more efficient customer experience and cement the UK as a world leader in border security.’ 

The ETA scheme is broadly for visitors who do not need a visa for short stay in the UK, or who do not have UK immigration status prior to travelling.

‘This landmark opening demonstrates the UK government’s delivery in transforming and digitising the UK border, enabling an increasingly seamless customer experience in the future for the millions of legitimate visitors who come to the UK.’

In 2022, the UK welcomed almost 800,000 visitors from the Gulf, with this set to increase over the next few years. 

The announcement was welcomed by many citizens. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Abdullah al Farsi, an athlete,  said, “I am delighted at the official opening of the electronic travel authorisation scheme for  Omani nationals. I believe the decision is an important step to facilitate mobility for us as athletes to participate in foreign camps and gain necessary experiences.”

The ETA will also help many Omani students and patients to travel easily and increase tourism movement between the two countries.

According to Khamis al Abri, a legal expert, the decision confirms the strength of relations between the two countries, which has existed for many years. It will facilitate travel between the two countries, as well as increase investments.

“This initiative not only simplifies the travel process for Omanis visiting the UK but also reflects the strength of our bilateral relations. We look forward to building the human bridge between our two countries further,”  Abri added.

Omanis can register via gov. uk/electronic-travel-authorisation

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