Start dates for new short-stay UK visa rules for 5 countries released

- Posted in United Kingdom by Visa Bureauon 02 April 2009

The new UK visa rules for South Africa, Bolivia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Venezuela have had their starting dates announced.  Recently, the UK Government renounced these countries' visa-waiver rights for short-stay visitors because they felt their own border security or immigration policies did not match the standards required by the UK Border Agency.

This means that all nationals from these five countries will need to obtain a UK visa if they want to transit through the UK, or stay for up to six months to visit family and friends or to holiday in Britain.

Bolivian and Venezuelan nationals will need to comply with these new conditions as of Monday 18 May 2009, except Venezuelan nationals holding biometric passports with an electronic chip, who will be exempt from the visa conditions completely. 

From Wednesday 01 July 2009, all South African, Lesotho and Swaziland nationals will need a visa to visit the UK temporarily.  This includes all South African visitors who have a previous travel history to the UK and now have a temporary visa exemption.  This visa exemption will cease to exist on midnight 30 June 2009.


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.