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Britain drops visa need for Oman, Qatar, UAE

 LONDON, Dec 10, (AFP): Short-term visitors from Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will not need visas to enter Britain from next year, interior minister Theresa May announced on Monday. Travellers from the three Gulf nations will need to obtain an electronic visa waiver document online in order to enter Britain without a visa, May said, adding that the new rules will come into force on Jan 1.

It will be open to visitors planning to stay in Britain for less than six months. May, the Home Secretary, said she intends to extend the plans to cover Kuwait later next year. “Britain is open for business and genuine visitors and tourists coming here to enjoy our world class attractions, study or do business are always welcome,” she said in a written statement to parliament. “Some visitors may still prefer a long-term multientry visit visa and the facility to obtain these visas will remain.”

Under the new system, visitors from the three Gulf countries will need to obtain the free electronic visa waiver at least 48 hours before travelling. Britain has received a 29 percent rise in business and tourist visas from the Middle East in the last year, the Home Office said.

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