Launched in 2016, the new Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) program allows citizens of eligible countries to enter the UK without having to apply for a traditional visa.
Since the process is entirely online, the digitalisation of travel authorisations and passport control saves time for both the UK authorities and international travellers as well as strengthening border security for the United Kingdom.
The electronic visa waiver for the UK for Qataris
Qatari citizens can now apply for their EVW prior to travelling to the UK. The visa waiver is intended for eligible nationals who wish to enter the UK for reasons like tourism, business, studying, and short-term medical treatment. Qatari citizens travelling to the UK for other reasons (such as work or marriage) will need to apply for a different UK visa.
Eligible countries for the EVW for the UK include:
The EVW is a single entry visa waiver. After arrival, EVW holders may stay in the United Kingdom for up to 6 months.
EVW holders cannot include their children in their own travel authorisation. However, they can apply for an EVW on their children’s behalf.
How to apply for the EVW for Qatari citizens
Foreigners intending to enter the UK on an EVW will need to apply at least 48 hours prior to departure.
Since it is possible to complete the UK EVW application from Qatar (the electronic visa waiver application can be completed from anywhere in the world as long as there is a reliable internet connection), it is advisable to allow enough time in order to avoid setbacks.
The online application process is very straightforward and only takes minutes. Applicants will need to:
- Fill out the EVW application form online
- Double-check that all information is correct and all fields are filled
- Receive the EVW authorisation via email
- Print the EVW to show upon arrival
EVW requirements for Qatari citizens
Meeting all the EVW requirements for Qatari nationals is paramount in order to be granted the travel authorisation.
The applicant will need to provide accurate information as part of the application process. This includes personal and contact information as well as details of their travel plans (date of arrival and departure, addresses in the UK, etc.). Incorrect or incomplete information may lead to delays or even to the application being rejected.
A valid Qatari passport must be provided during the application. The EVW for the UK will be connected to the applicant’s passport, which needs to be valid for the entirety of their intended stay in the United Kingdom.
A credit or debit card needs to be used in order to pay the application fee.
Travelling to the United Kingdom from Qatar
Once they receive confirmation of their EVW application being accepted, travellers must print a copy of the EVW and take it with them on their flight to the UK. The EVW must be presented to the UK border authorities together with the biometric passport used to complete the application online and other relevant documents.
The EVW does not guarantee entry. The final decision is up to border control officers to make. The UK is no longer part of the EU and has never been part of the Schengen Area, meaning that the EVW does not permit holders to move visa-free to Schengen member countries.