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New British electronic visa system available from April

KUWAIT: Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs Waleed Al-Khabeizi has announced plans to introduce a new electronic visa waiver (EVW) system for Kuwaiti visitors to the United Kingdom. In a statement to KUNA after inspecting the EVW system introduced by Head of Political Section at the British embassy in Kuwait Michael Holland, Al-Khabeizi said that “the smoother and more efficient system” will be in effect starting next April. Al-Khabeizi lauded the new EVW system, which will be up and running after a brief trial and error period. All Kuwaiti passport holders will be eligible to use the EVW system, “which will be available in the Arabic and English languages.”

Moreover, the Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs revealed that the new EVW system permits Kuwaiti citizens to stay in the UK for a maximum period of six months. Kuwaiti passport holders wishing to travel to the UK are required to fill out an online form no later than 48 hours before the date of departure, Al-Khabeizi announced.

The new system would spare travelers the need to apply in person at the British embassy or administer their biometric information. The new hassle-free system, to be completed online, requires the payment of a 15 Euros (6.8 KD) fee, a far cry from previous visa fees that cost hundreds of Dinars. The procedure is expected to take no longer than 15 minutes. Al-Khabeizi also noted that the new EVW system asks for brief passport and trip details, giving Kuwaiti travelers easier access to a U.K. visa.

The new EVW system has thus far been used by a group of 50 Kuwaiti citizens as part of a trial and error period to last until March. The travelers were very satisfied with the system’s “simplicity and convenience”, Al-Khabeizi said. The new EVW system encompasses all forms of travel including educational, business, medical and leisure, the Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs noted. All users will also have their own username and password details, which would facilitate processes such as visa renewal and modification of arrival and departure dates. Al- Khabiezi thanked the British Government for introducing the new EVW system for Kuwaiti nationals, calling it a step towards further cementing long-standing bilateral ties. —KUNA

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