15 June 2009
Chernobyl-affected kids to continue with free UK visa visits
The British Government has announced that the free UK visa agreement for Chernobyl-affected children will continue. An agreement to lift the UK visa suspension was made so that UK charities could continue their work with Chernobyl-affected children.
Belarusian children have been granted free UK visa visits so that they can visit Britain for purposes of respite and recuperation, an activity which is supported by up to 47 different charities in the UK.
The Chernobyl-affected children have been using the free UK visa program since the early 1990s; however, in 1995 a charge for the UK visa was imposed for those in the region, with an exemption placed on Belarusian children affected by Chernobyl.
UK Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said the Government values highly the importance of allowing the respite visits to continue as seamlessly as possible.
"We're pleased we've been able to reach an agreement with Belarus that allows these visits to resume, and remain in place for at least the next five years," he said in a statement.
"This agreement will enable UK charities to continue their worthwhile work, and for many more children to visit the UK for a temporary period of rest and recuperation."
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.