From 1 January 2014, passport holders of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be able to visit the UK for up to 6 months using an electronic visa waiver (EVW).
The EVW, which can be created online, offers a free, fast and simple alternative to a visit visa.
From 9 December 2013, applicants from the 3 countries can download an EVW using the visa applications system Visa4UK. It can be used for travel to the UK on or after 1 January 2014.
The EVW must be completed at least 48 hours before travelling to the UK. EVW will be available for visits of up to 6 months. However, those coming to the UK to work or study will still need to apply for visas in the normal way.
For full details of the changes please see the ‘statement of changes to the immigration rules (HC 628)’ and the ‘explanatory memorandum’ can be found on the UK Border Agency site. A written ministerial statement can found on the gov.uk website.