The UK is to grant electronic visa waiver status to citizens of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in a bid to boost tourism and business.
The move, which comes into effect on 6 June, will enable eligible visitors from the two countries to apply for a UK visa entirely online.
Visa applicants will have to complete a short application form and pay the visa fee online before printing out a confirmation page to present at the UK border.
A wider government plan to promote the UK
The e-visa waiver will be valid for six months from the date of issue, and will allow its holder to enter the UK as often as they wish during that period.
The move is part of a wider government plan to promote the UK as an attractive destination for foreign visitors. The government has also introduced an e-visa waiver for citizens of Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and is working on similar arrangements with other countries in the region.
Over 400,000 visits to the UK from the Gulf region
The UK is hoping that the e-visa waiver will boost tourism from the Gulf region, which has been growing in recent years. In 2017, there were over 400,000 visits to the UK from the Gulf region, an increase of 11% on the previous year.