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EL SALVADOR - VISAS FOR SALVADORANS TRAVELING TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

May/2022

The UK Government has announced that from 9:00 a.m. (El Salvador time) on 11 May 2022, all nationals of El Salvador who intend to visit the UK will be required to obtain a visa ("entry clearance") in advance of traveling.

This measure is in addition to already established requirements to obtain a visa to travel to the UK for the purpose of work, study, and settlement.

Nationals of El Salvador will also be required to obtain a visa to transit via the UK (including airside transit).

Salvadoran nationals will also be required to obtain a Direct Airside Transit Visa if they intend to transit via the UK having booked travel to another country. The transition period between 11 May and 8 June also applies to Salvadoran nationals intending to transit via the UK, if they booked their travel before 16:00 BST 11 May, and arrive before 9 June.

Salvadoran citizens will also no longer be eligible for membership of the Registered Traveller service (RTS). Existing Salvadoran members will have their membership cancelled (and be refunded the remainder of their annual membership fee on a pro rata basis).

This visa requirement includes officials traveling to the UK.

 

How can Salvadorans obtain visas?

The Embassy has worked closely with the Home Office, as the UK Government department responsible for visas and migration, to put in place arrangements to ensure that Salvadoran travellers can apply for their visas in El Salvador.

Customers who require a visa can apply online at: What are you coming to the UK to do? - Check if you need a UK visa - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Customers can complete their visa applications online and pay the associated visa fees. Customers will have to apply online and pay a visa fee in advance of submitting their biometric information at a Visa Application Centre or Temporary Enrolment Location.

To assist customers in El Salvador, our commercial partner VFS Global have established a Temporary Enrolment Location (TEL) service at the Crown Plaza Hotel in San Salvador that will initially be open on 19 and 20 May with the ability to run an additional service on 21 May, depending on demand. Appointment availability for subsequent months will be based on demand for the service.

The cost of a visa depends upon the type of visa required. The cost of a standard 6-month multiple-entry visit visa is £100.

Customers can also apply for a visit visa from any VAC/TEL in the world until 30 June 2022. Details of locations and opening times of all available services can be found on the webpages of our commercial partners:

TLS contact if you are applying in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East

VFS global for all other countries including El Salvador/Americas

The aim is to process visitor visas within 15 UK working days following attendance at a visa application centre. 

Salvadorans are already required to obtain a visa for other (non-visit) purposes, such as to work or study. Applicants for student or other visas can use the new application centre in El Salvador, instead of needing to travel to other countries as they have done until now.

Any Salvadoran transiting through a UK airport with the intention to travel onwards to another country will need a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV).

In line with standard UK practice around the world, the British Embassy in San Salvador will not be able to issue visas, receive applications or provide advice on individual needs or applications. Those needing advice should check Visas and immigration - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for guidance.

 

Transition Arrangements

 

  • There will be a four-week transition period Wednesday 8 June during which visitors who booked their travel before 16:00 BST 11 May can still enter the UK.
  • Salvadoran nationals who booked travel to the UK before 16:00 BST 11 May 2022 will still be able to visit the UK without a visa until Friday 8 June 2022. Any passengers arriving after 8 June will require a visa to travel to the UK regardless of when their travel was booked. Anyone booking their flight after 16:00 BST 11 May will also need a visa, even if they arrive before 9 June.
  • This transition period also applies to individuals who wish to transit via the UK to another country. Between 11 May and 8 June, Salvadoran nationals who meet the transit requirements will not need a Direct Airside Transit Visa to transit airside via the UK. 
  • Salvadoran visitors already in the UK will not be affected by the new requirement for the remainder of their visit. However, if they leave the UK, they will need a visa in order to enter the UK again if their travel was not booked before 16:00 BST 11 May and does not arrive before 9 June. They will need to apply for this visa outside the UK.

If you need information on this topic, do not hesitate to contact us.

 

César Bautista
Senior Associate

cesar.bautista@ariaslaw.com


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