From November 9, Guyanese nationals can travel to the United Kingdom without a visitor’s visa.
British High Commissioner Jane Miller made the announcement about the visa waiver on Tuesday morning at a joint press conference with President Dr Irfaan Ali.
She said that since taking up her position 15 months ago she has heard several complaints from the private sector, civil society and the media about issues around visas. She said President Ali even discussed with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the UK.
Miller stressed though that the visa is only for short-term visitors. Anyone seeking to stay beyond six months, to work, study, or settle, would have to still apply for the relevant visa.
“This visa lift is a real sign of confidence that the United Kingdom has in the growth of our relationship and together with the direct flight that will be happening at the end of March with British Airways we believe this change will be transformative to our already strong relationship,” Miller said.
She said there will be a trade mission to Guyana with British businesses in mid-November and expressed hope that Guyanese business people will seek opportunities in the UK as well.
Dr Ali said beyond business opportunities and strengthening relations between the two countries, the visa waiver will boost Guyana’s tourism industry.
He said the UK has a large birdwatching population and people who love eco-tourism products, which Guyana offers.
“This visa waiver allows greater connectivity, greater contact and will not only do well for the expansion of trade and opportunities but will do well to bring our people together,” he said.
Dr Ali said they are also hopeful that they could derive more financing from the UK for infrastructural projects such as the upgrade of drainage in South Georgetown.
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