Dominica and Vanuatu are deprived of the UK visa-free regime

Today, the Home Office released a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, imposing a visa regime on Dominica, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu. Nationals from these countries will now be required to obtain a visa before visiting or transiting through the UK.

The decision to implement these changes is in response to the large number of asylum claims from Namibians and Hondurans in the UK, as well as abuses of the immigration system by individuals from Dominica, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu.

The changes come into effect at 3 pm today and amend Appendix Visitor: Visa national list of the Immigration Rules. The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, stated that these visa requirements have been imposed solely for migration and border security reasons and do not reflect poor relations with the affected countries.

During a four-week transition period, individuals with confirmed bookings to the UK made on or before 1500 BST on 19 July 2023, with an arrival date no later than 16 August 2023, will still be allowed visa-free entry. The Home Office is also making arrangements to provide visas for diplomats from these countries currently working at the embassy in London.

The Home Office has taken these steps after careful consideration of the abuse of citizenship by investment schemes in Dominica and Vanuatu and the significant increase in UK asylum applications from Namibian and Honduran nationals. Additionally, there has been a sustained increase in the number of non-genuine visitors from Timor-Leste, who often attempt to fraudulently claim EU Settlement Scheme status or work illegally in the UK.

The statement of changes, HC 1715, can be accessed from the UK Government’s website. It is important for travelers to be aware of these new requirements and plan accordingly. The UK will continue to review and adapt its border and immigration system to ensure it serves the national interest effectively.

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