On 18 October, the Government announced that it is removing its visitor visa requirements for nationals of Colombia, Peru and Guyana as of 9 November 2022, ensuring that citizens of these Latin American countries can travel to the UK and stay for up to six months for tourism, business, or study.
Colombians will now be able travel to the UK as “standard visitors”, although the visa will still be required for those who want to undertake long-term studies, work or settle permanently in the UK. Nationals of Guyana and Peru will also benefit from the decision, with their visitor visas also being scrapped.
The move is expected to bring more tourists to the UK, and “opens the doors for new business opportunities in various sectors,” the British embassy in Colombia stated.
Mariam Khaliq, Partner and Head of the Immigration team at Bishop & Sewell LLP, commented: “Removing the need for a visa for temporary stays will facilitate increased travel and provide a number of benefits, such as improving access to short-term academic exchanges, business meetings and participation in conferences. Meanwhile, the UK’s decision greatly facilitates travel for the expat community resident in Colombia, and their Colombian spouses, partners and children.
“The lifting of tourist visa requirements will also bring an end to the long wait times faced by applicants to get approval to travel to the UK, which is an expensive process (US$173 per applicant) that can currently take up to 60 days.”
UK Ambassador to Colombia George Hodgson announced the removal of the visitor visa requirement, effective 9 November 2022. “The UK will open up its doors to tourism and other sectors for Colombians. This is a great step forward in our bilateral relations.”
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The above is accurate as at 25 October 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.