uk-borderUK is to launch a new visa waiver scheme early next year to make it cheaper and easier for business travellers and tourists to visit the UK from the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

According to the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the new electronic visa waiver (EVW) will be free of charge and is a quick and simple alternative to a visa application.

Its introduction is expected to increase the number of visits from Emiratis, Qataris, Omanis and Kuwaitis and reflects the strong ties between the UK and these countries.

Applicants will need to submit an EVW online at least 48 hours before they are due to travel and it will do away with the need to provide bio-metric information, attend an appointment at a visa application centre or hand in passports prior to travel.

The EVW will be available for visits of up to six months, however, those arriving to the UK to work or study will still need to apply for visas in the normal way.