From 1 January 2014, if you hold a passport from United Arab Emirates, Qatar or Oman you can visit the UK (for tourism, business or study purposes) for up to 6 months with an electronic visa waiver (EVW).
An EVW form can be completed online; it is free of charge and quicker than applying for a visa. You do not need to provide biometric information (photo and fingerprints), attend a visa application centre or hand in your passport in advance of travel.
You cannot travel on an EVW if you wish to:
- study or stay in the UK for more than 6 months
- get married or register a civil partnership in the UK
What you need to know
- an EVW can be completed up to 3 months before the travel date and must be completed at least 48 hours before departure to the UK
- if you change your travel plans you must complete a new EVW form. If your carrier changes your flight, you should contact them
- each traveller must present a paper copy of their EVW at the departure port (air, sea or train) and again on arrival in the UK. Electronic copies on phones, tablets or personal computers will not be accepted
- the personal details on the EVW form must exactly match those shown in the passport being used to travel to the UK, including any other characters like hyphens or apostrophes
- the travel details on the EVW form must exactly match the journey being made. If they do not match, you will not be able to travel
- each EVW document is only valid for a single entry to the UK
- in addition to your EVW document, you must also present your passport on departure and again on arrival in the UK
How to complete an EVW
You can fill in an EVW form at Visa4UK, our online applications system. Anyone can help you to complete the form, but it is your responsibility to check that the information is accurate and correct.
You first need to register with your personal details and then log in. The web site provides you with an option of applying for a visa or an EVW if you are eligible.
If you decide to complete an EVW you must provide personal and travel details.
Your personal details on the EVW form including spelling of all names, passport number and date of birth must exactly match those shown in the passport being used to travel to the UK. If they do not match, you will not be able to travel.
We strongly recommend that customers check their EVW against the passport being used to travel.
Travel details on the EVW form must also exactly match the journey being made. If they do not match, you will not be able to travel. You will need to include information about:
- your port of departure, including time, date and plane/train/ship number
- your arrival in the UK, including time and date
- your departure from the UK including time, date and plane/train/ship number
If you are visiting the UK as part of a multi-leg trip, you must include details of the last leg of your journey to the UK. If you leave the UK and want to re-enter, you will need a separate EVW for that journey.
Changing information on the EVW
Changes to the EVW must be made at least 48 hours before departure. After that time the EVW cannot be changed and it is too late to complete a new one. You cannot travel on an EVW that does not exactly match the passport being used and the journey being made.
Submitting the EVW
Once an EVW form is successfully submitted, you must complete the signature and declaration sections.
You will receive confirmation that the form has been submitted by email. We recommend you check that the EVW is correct and either print it immediately or at a later date. You must take a printed copy with you when you depart. If you wish you can save the EVW document and email it to another person.
Travelling on a visa
If you are a frequent visitor to the UK, travel at short notice or want to re-enter the UK multiple times as part of the same trip you may prefer to choose to travel on a visit visa to meet your needs. Visit visas are available for durations of up to 10 years.
If you already have a visa to travel to the UK you can continue to use that until it expires. When it expires you can either renew, or visit for up to six months with an EVW.
We strongly advise you to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK if you have:
- unspent criminal convictions in any country, including the UK
- previously been refused entry, deported or otherwise removed from the UK
- breached the terms of any previous entry to the UK – for example, by working illegally or staying in the UK after permission to stay expired
- previously been refused a visa on last application; or been warned by a UK Immigration official that you should obtain a visa before travelling to the UK
If you are passing through the UK on the way to another country, please consult the In transit through the UK section.
Further information on EVW
An EVW form can be completed online in any location with an internet connection.
Each EVW is only valid for a single entry to the UK. Each visitor needs to complete a new EVW form for each visit to the UK including children.
The EVW document replaces the requirement to complete a landing card on arrival in the UK.
Children travelling to the UK without a parent or guardian may be required to provide written evidence of parental consent to the Border Force Officer at the UK border. Further guidance on accompanied and unaccompanied child visitors can be found in child requirements guidance
If you have a general question about UK visas or EVW process, you can phone or email the VFS call centres in United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman.
More information about visiting the UK is on the Visit Britain website.