Colombia and Peru Removed from the List of Countries That Require Tourist Visas to Enter the UK

Colombia and Peru Removed from the List of Countries That Require Tourist Visas to Enter the UK

From the 9th November, citizens of Colombia and Peru will no longer require visas to come to the UK. The British government explains the reasons for the decision with these words: “The risk of immigration abuse and crime from these countries has fallen steadily over the last five years. In addition, there are significant potential rewards from granting these nationalities visa-free national status, such as improved trade, diplomatic relations and tourism”.

Regardless of the reasons that led the UK to take this decision or the reasons given by the government, this is undoubtedly excellent news for the thousands of Colombians and Peruvians living in the UK who will now be able to be visited by their loved ones.

The significance of this decision is very simple: from 9th November Colombians and Peruvians will no longer have to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK, but upon arrival, an immigration officer will ask questions regarding the reasons as to why the person wishes to enter the UK. If it is verified that the person is genuinely coming to visit, they will be allowed to enter the UK for a maximum period of 6 months. During this time, the person will not be allowed to work, rent a property, open a bank account, etc. and after 6 months they will have to leave the UK.

This seems obvious, but what is not so obvious is that in practice the UK’s decision to remove Colombia and Peru from the list of countries that require visas to visit the UK will open the doors to a number of people whose intention is NOT to come as visitors but to stay and reside here. I mention this without passing any judgement on the matter but simply as a reality.

In my column in this edition we talked about how the immigration rules are so strict and unfair that they do not allow British nationals to bring in their elderly parents. Well, although the UK government’s decision does not change the rules for dependent adults, in practice and to the regret of the Home Office, some Colombians or Peruvians will enter the UK as visitors and once they are here they will try to “stay”. Whether they will succeed is one thing, but whether they will try is another.

 

Manuel Padilla Behar is a solicitor in England specialising in immigration law and is the owner of MPB Solicitors. You can contact him here: manuel@mpbsolicitors.co.uk

This article was first published in Spanish in Express News

 

 

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