St Kitts and Nevis is not among the countries that were slapped with visa restrictions from the United Kingdom. Dominica and several other territories suffered a different outcome.
UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced Wednesday that Dominican, Honduran, Namibian, Timorese, and Vanuatuan nationals will now require a visa,. The choice was made after giving careful thought to the immigration policies of the two nations, and how they would affect immigration to and security at the UK’s borders.
In her statement, Home Secretary Braverman highlighted concerns about the abuse of citizenship by investment schemes in Dominica and Vanuatu.
“Careful consideration of Dominica’s and Vanuatu’s operation of a citizenship by investment scheme has shown clear and evident abuse of the scheme, including the granting of citizenship to individuals known to pose a risk to the UK.
“The decision to impose these visa requirements has been taken solely for migration and border security reasons, and is not a sign of poor relations with these countries. Any decision to change a visa regime is not taken lightly and we keep our border and immigration system under regular review to ensure it continues to work in the UK national interest.”
These issues and improving border security are the goals of the new visa requirements. Individuals from the affected nations will now require visas to travel to the UK. Additionally, a Direct Airside Transit Visa will be needed to transit through the UK on the way to another nation.
The Home Office has implemented a four-week grace period to give travellers who have already made flight reservations a transitional period. This means that travellers with confirmed reservations who arrive in the UK by August 16, 2023, and whose confirmed reservations were made on or before 1500 BST on July 19, 2023, will still be able to do so without a visa.
Recently St Kitts and Nevis’ Passport ranked 24th in the Henley and Partners passport index, noting that the Federation has visa-free access to 155 countries globally.
The restrictions on Dominica now serve as a warning for the authorities in St. Kitts and Nevis to continue to strengthen the CBI program to ensure the same does not happen here.
Photo caption: UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman