In today’s blogpost we will be looking at the recent success of the UKVI’s visa waiver program for Emariti citizens who wish to visit the United Kingdom. We will be discussing the successes and improvement of the program, the type of visas that said visitors require.
Whilst the service was launched on the 1st of January last year, recent campaigns by the British Embassy in Dubai have seen this exciting new project back in the news. Under the Visa waiver program clients can pay an additional £600 for the British Embassy’s Super Priority Visa Service to have their application processed more quickly. To use the service the applicant must book an appointment when they apply for their Visa. Those who have their appointment before 09:00 will most likely be able to collect their visa after 16:00 on the same day. However, those who make their appointment after 10:00 will have to wait a little bit longer and collect their visa the following day.
The UK and the UAE have long had close ties. Indeed, over the last 10 years the number of UAE citizens visiting the UK for tourism and business has increased greatly. According to www.visitbritain.org in the year 2014:
9/10 visitors made repeat visits to the U.K
The majority of visitors were male
75% of visitors were very or extremely likely to recommend the U.K as a Holiday destination
In 2005 UAE residents and citizens spent £150.16 Million in the UK, this figure rose to an eye watering £436.6 Million in 2014 (Peeking at 609.12 Million in 2013) Please see table below for more information.
|Overview of UAE visitor statistics in 2014||Change from previous year|
|Number of visits||259,541||-14.51%|
|Total expenditure (GBP)||£436.6 m||-28.39%|
|Total nights spent||2.57 m||-33.26%|
|Average length of stay (Nights)||9.9||-21.91%|
|Average spend per visit (GBP)||£1,682||-16.25%|
Economically speaking, the UK and the UAE have diverse trade links. According to http://exportbritain.org.uk/market-snapshots/uae.html The UK’s trade with the UAE consists of:
- 59% Machinery and Transport Equipment
- 26% Manufactured Goods
- 9% Chemical and Related Products
- 5% Food, Beverages and Tobacco
- 1% Commodities
As we can see the UK imports a variety of different goods to the UAE which will no doubt increase following a resurgent UK economy. In the coming years we expect to see these figures rise as both countries seek to strengthen trade ties. Whilst this service initally had teething problems these have since been resolved and clients seem to be happier to choose a more efficient service.
The visa types that request this service are surprisingly diverse. It has been reported that the most popular visa application under the new service is the General visitor visa although Work visas (Tier 1 investor and Entrepreneur as well as Tier 2) are becoming increasingly popular.
What can we take in conclusion from the Visa Waiver Fast track Service? That this service will undoubtablely entice more UAE residents to visit the UK! A huge area of our business is comprised of UAE citizens and residence and in the past 2 years we have witnessed a year on year increase in clients.
Westkin Associates are specialist immigration lawyers in London. We work across all areas of UK inbound law and pride ourselves in the excellent customer service we provide. We work to the exacting standards of the OISC and offer efficient, clear and results focused service.
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