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UK Ambassador to Kuwait affirms visa waiver signifies firm relations

KUWAIT: United Kingdom Ambassador to Kuwait Belinda Lewis stated on Monday that exempting Kuwaiti nationals from entrance visas and swapping it with an online travel permit next year highlights the firm relations tying the two countries and bolsters such ties. In an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Ambassador Lewis added that issuing the online travel permit will only take a few minutes and would be valid for a couple of years, and for multiple entries.

Commenting on the airport crisis in the UK, she advised Kuwaiti travelers to head over to airports outside of the capital London, as Heathrow airport strikes are causing flight delays and cancelations. In relation to Kuwaiti students in the UK, Lewis commented that their number amounted to 8,400 student in the year 2021-2022, adding that cultural exchange between the two nations has been going on for generations and they are looking forward to extending it for even more generations to come.

She further commended the role of the two countries’ cultural attaches in facilitating students’ travel procedures. Lewis clarified that the online travel permit will not be made available to students looking to study in British universities or for travelers intending on staying in the United Kingdom for a prolonged period of time. On the free trade deal being negotiated by Gulf countries and the UK, the British Ambassador affirmed that it holds great importance as all sides are set to reap numerous benefits.

She went on to explain that trade exchange between UK and the Gulf bloc is quite large as it amounts to GBP 30 billion (approximately $35.5 billion) in the private sector alone, adding that Gulf countries are the seventh largest exporter to the UK. Ambassador Lewis affirmed that the deal could contribute to future visions of Gulf countries including Kuwait’s 2035 vision, and it would also facilitate movement of workers in said countries. – KUNA

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