Her Majesty’s Ambassador (HMA) to Qatar, Nicholas Hopton, opened the new UK visa application centre in Jaidah Square on 15 June 2014 and announces the easing of student visa applications for Qataris.

UK Ambassador Hopton said:

It is fantastic news that we are able to simplify the visa process for Qatari students. We have already done this for tourists and business travellers through the introduction of the electronic visa waiver. The new visa application centre which I am pleased to be opening today, will also help enhance the visa application experience for residents of Qatar. Last year, we welcomed more Qatari visitors to the UK than ever before, and we hope our new centre and the EVW system will see this trend continuing.’

The new modern visa application centre is brighter and more spacious than the previous facility and provides customers with easy access and dedicated parking. For an additional fee, customers can choose to use a high quality VIP lounge which provides an exclusive and personalised service.

Regional Director for UK Visas and Immigration, Matt Heath, said:

We’re committed to putting customer service at the heart of our operations. The new visa application centre will provide a first class experience for everyone and in particular for those opting to use the VIP facilities. The new electronic visa waiver is proving extremely popular in Qatar, with thousands of people benefitting since it was introduced in January. A small number of people make errors when completing the form which means they are not able to travel. It is essential when completing an EVW that personal details exactly match a traveller’s passport. This includes entering all middle names and punctuation. Travel details must also be correct including the last port of departure.’

At the same time, the UK has announced changes to simplify the visa application process for Qatari students. Qataris are now able to benefit from reduced documentary requirements for UK student visa applications, with particular regard to financial documents. These changes follow the recent introduction of the electronic visa waiver in Qatar which allows visitors to come to the UK visa free, so long as they complete an online waiver at least 48 hours before travel.

The package of enhancements is designed to offer Qataris the greatest possible comfort and convenience when considering the UK as a destination for business, leisure or study.