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Minister: GCC states to get UK visa exemptions in 2023

LONDON, June 27 (KUNA) -- Gulf Arab nationals will no longer need to obtain a visa before visiting Britain starting next year, making travel procedures simpler for one of the country's most ardent visitors, Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Monday.
Under the new scheme, Gulf Cooperation Council citizens will need to acquire an electronic travel permit in advance, replacing the conventional visa requirements, while the new measure will not apply to students or those on prolonged visits, the minister told the press.
She went on to describe the measure as a step towards a more "digital border" that will allow for an accurate counting of people who enter or leave the country, in addition to keeping any potential security threats at bay.
On these travel requirements, the UK minister said Gulf Arab nationals will be among the first "beneficiaries" of these simplified procedures, while Britain's ambassador to Kuwait Belinda Lewis hailed the rules as a "testament" to long-standing bilateral relations. (end) kd.nam