UK imposes visa requirement for Salvadoran citizens

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UK imposes visa requirement for Salvadoran citizens

As of this Wednesday, May 11, all Salvadorans who need to travel to the United Kingdom will need a visa to do so, even if it is for tourist reasons, the United Kingdom embassy in El Salvador reported.

Through a series of tweets, the embassy assured that new visa requirements have been introduced for Salvadoran citizens, which must be completed online before the trip.

According to the UK government, the decision responds to the increase in Salvadorans seeking asylum after arriving in the European country.

Citizens of El Salvador now require a visa to visit the UK. (…) The decision to introduce a visa regime was made due to the sustained and significant increase over the last 5 years in the number of Salvadorans who do not intend to make a short visit, but instead submit asylum applications to their arrival in the UK.

Embassy of the United Kingdom in El Salvador.

Before 2017, the embassy reported, the UK received fewer than 40 asylum applications from Salvadorans each year. In 2021, the figure was 703, an increase of 1,657% in just four years.

Salvadoran visitors who are already in the United Kingdom will not be affected by the new requirement, the embassy published in a statement. However, when they leave the UK, they will require a visa to be able to re-enter.

To date, Salvadorans were already required to obtain a visa to stay in the UK, whether for work or study. Now, however, they will have to process visas even for short visits.

Under UK government arrangements, applicants for student visas or other visas will now have the option of using the new visa application center in El Salvador, rather than having to travel to other countries as they have done until now. .

Standard visas are valid for up to six months, whether for tourism, business or study. Salvadorans can apply for longer stays under certain circumstances, such as medical treatment.

The embassy clarified that it will not have the power to issue visas, receive applications or provide assistance with individual needs or applications. Those needing advice or assistance should check the gov.uk site for any guidance.

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