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EMBASSY CLOSURES : MARCH / APRIL 201918-03-2019
AFGHANISTAN CLOSED 20TH - 22ND MARCH

ANGOLA CLOSED 4TH APRIL

AZERBAIJAN CLOSED 20TH TO 26TH MARCH

BANGLADESH CLOSED 26TH MARCH

INDIA CLOSED 21ST MARCH
RUSSIA: PRICE AND PROCESSING TIMES CHANGED FOR AMERICAN PASSPORT HOLDERS13-03-2019
Russia visa price change and processing time for American Passport holders.

 

United States of America Price and Processing Time Changes.

Dear applicants, please note that from 03 March 2019 price for United States of America will be £125 for all visa types plus service charge and processing time for all types of visas will take 15 calendar days. http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk/visa_types.html 

India/Pakistan/Thailand: Heightened political tension: Update 128-02-2019

The ABTA Destinations team continue to monitor the current heightened political tension in India and Pakistan.
 
Thailand: FCO Travel Advice Update
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Thailand with an update to the Summary: Thai Airways have cancelled or delayed a number of flights between Europe (including the UK) and Thailand due to airspace closures over the Kashmir region. This is affecting flights on 28 February. We are in close touch with the airline and Suvarnibhumi Airport in Bangkok to provide support. If flying with Thai Airways you should check with your tour operator, travel agent or the airline for up to date information on your flight status before travelling to the airport. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Summary
Thai Airways have cancelled or delayed a number of flights between Europe (including the UK) and Thailand due to airspace closures over the Kashmir region. This is affecting flights on 28 February. We are in close touch with the airline and Suvarnibhumi Airport in Bangkok to provide support. If flying with Thai Airways you should check with your tour operator, travel agent or the airline for up to date information on your flight status before travelling to the airport.
 
The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are restrictions within the advice.
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including:

  • Pattani
  • Yala
  • Narathiwat
  • Southern Songkhla province. Our advice against all but essential travel does not include areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom, and areas north-west of and including the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.
 
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand
 
Members Advice
Members with customers imminently due to travel to/from or via the affected region should liaise with the applicable airlines to establish whether their flights have been affected by the situation and update their customers accordingly.
 
Customer Advice
Customers imminently due to travel to/from or via the affected region should liaise with their travel provider and their airline to establish whether their flight has been affected by the situation.
 
The ABTA Destinations team will continue to monitor the situation and update accordingly.

India/ Pakistan : Heightened political tension: Initial Advice28-02-2019

The ABTA Destinations team are monitoring the current heightened political tension in India and Pakistan.
 
As a result of Pakistan closing its airspace effective until 11:59pm on 28 February, we understand that a number of airlines operating flights from the Far East to destinations in Europe are having to reroute their aircraft away from Pakistan and northern India.
 
Several affected airlines are posting information on flight disruptions on their Twitter feed. We have shared the latest details below, however please note that this is not an exhaustive list and it is recommended that you liaise with the applicable airlines to establish whether their flight schedules have been affected by the situation.
 
For your information we are also including the most recent FCO Travel Advice updates received earlier this afternoon.
 
Pakistan: FCO Travel Advice
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Pakistan with an update to the Summary – updated information on heightened tensions between Pakistan and India, particularly across the Line of Control. 
 
The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Summary
Following a terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14 February, there are heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly across the Line of Control. In response to these tensions, Pakistan has announced the closure of its airspace, effective until 11.59pm on 28 February. There are no commercial flights operating to, from or within Pakistan at this time. You should check with your airline before travelling to the airport for flights to and from Pakistan.
 
The overall level of the advice has not changed, and there are restrictions in place.
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
  • the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
  • northern and western Balochistan
  • travel on the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit

 
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the Kalesh Valley, the Bamoboret Valley and Arandu District to the south and west of Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city of Quetta
  • the city of Nawabshah in Sindh Province, and areas of interior Sindh to the north of Nawabshah

 
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/pakistan
 
India: FCO Travel Advice
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for India with an update to the Summary – updated information on heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly across the Line of Control.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Summary
Following a terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14 February, there are heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly across the Line of Control. There may be disruption to air travel in Jammu and Kashmir and northern India at short notice. You should continue to exercise caution, monitor news reports and keep up to date with this travel advice and the advice of local authorities.
 
The overall level of the advice has not changed, and there are restrictions in place.
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah
  • Jammu and Kashmir, with the exception of (i) travel within the city of Jammu, (ii) travel by air to the city of Jammu, and (iii) travel within the region of Ladakh
  • Manipur, except the state capital Imphal, where the FCO advise against all but essential travel

The tourist destinations of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg fall within the areas to which the FCO advise against all travel.
 
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the city of Srinagar and between the cities of Jammu and Srinagar on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway
  • Imphal, the state capital of Manipur
 
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india
 
Thai Airways Twitter
 
All THAI flights from Bangkok to Europe departing near midnight of 27 FEB through early 28 FEB and from Europe to Bangkok departing on 27 FEB have been cancelled due to Pakistan airspace closure. More info, http://bit.ly/2EAKYfN .
 
Due to Pakistan airspace closure, flight cancellations are as follows
TG931/27Feb Paris-Bangkok
TG911/27Feb London-Bangkok
TG921/27Feb Frankfurt-Bangkok
TG941/27Feb Milan-Bangkok
TG945/27Feb Rome-Bangkok
TG971/27Feb Zurich-Bangkok
TG955/27Feb Oslo-Bangkok
TG961/27Feb Stockholm-Bangkok
TG925/27Feb Munich-Bangkok
TG951/27Feb Copenhagen-Bangkok
TG341/TG342/27Feb Bangkok-Karachi v.v.
TG345/TG346/27Feb Bangkok-Lahore v.v.
TG349/TG350/27Feb Bangkok-Islamabad v.v.

All flights from Bangkok to Europe departing near midnight of 27 FEB through early 28 FEB have been cancelled.
 
END—
 
Jet Airways Twitter
 
#9WUpdate As per instructions from Delhi ATC regarding airport closure, flight operations to/from Amritsar, Srinagar, Jammu & Leh have been suspended until further notice. We request our guests check their flight status before proceeding to the airport bitly.com/9wfltstatus.
 
END—
 
Members Advice
Members with customers imminently due to travel to/from or via the affected region should liaise with the applicable airlines to establish whether their flights have been affected by the situation and update their customers accordingly.
 
Customer advice
Customers imminently due to travel to/from or via the affected region should liaise with their travel provider and their airline to establish whether their flight has been affected by the situation.
 
The ABTA Destinations team will continue to monitor the situation and update accordingly.

North, Central & South Americ: FCO Travel Advice Updates28-02-2019

The FCO have updated the travel advice for the following countries: Ecuador
 
Ecuador
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Ecuador with an update to the Entry Requirements (Visas) section – the maximum stay in the Galapagos Islands, as a tourist, is 60 days.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Entry Requirements
Visas
Although local regulations may not always be implemented, all visitors to the Galapagos Islands should provide a copy of their hotel booking. Likewise, visitors staying with local residents in the islands should have an invitation letter from their host available. Maximum stay in this region, as a tourist, is 60 days.
 
The overall level of the advice has not changed, and there are restrictions in place.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel within the 20km exclusion zone along the border with Colombia, except for the official border crossing town of Tulcan in Carchi province. See Local travel
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the areas of Tarapoa and the Cuyabeno reserve outside the 20km zone in Sucumbios
  • the areas of El Angel Ecological Reserve inside the 20 km exclusion zone in the province of Carchi
  • all other areas of Esmeraldas province outside the 20km exclusion zone. See Local travel
 
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ecuador

Venezuela: FCO Travel Advice Update25-02-2019
The FCO travel advice for Venezuela has been amended in the travel Summary – addition of information on the temporary closure by the de facto Venezuelan authorities of the land border with Brazil. The overall level of advice has not changed.
 
Please see the relevant extract below:
 
A number of Venezuela’s land and sea borders are subject to closure. The border with Colombia is open to foot traffic only, and on 21 February 2019, the Venezuelan de facto authorities ordered the temporary closure of the land border with Brazil. The sea borders with Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are also temporarily closed, with no air or sea traffic operating between Venezuela and these islands. If you’re planning travel in the region on any of these routes, contact your tour operator for more information.
 
To see the article in full, please click on the link below:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/venezuela
ANGOLA : EMBASSY CLOSURES 21-02-2019

The Angola Embassy will be closed on the 5th and 8th of March. 2019

BREXIT: LATEST INFORMATION REGARDING TRAVEL AFTER BREXIT20-02-2019
Further to the operational bulletins advising that the Government is increasing its communications about the possible implications of leaving the EU, the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for all European and EEA countries with information and advice for British Nationals travelling to or living in an EU country.
 
The following FCO update is concerning updated information in relation to passport validity.
 
For the purpose of this bulletin, we have used the advice included within the Austria FCO travel advice.  Please use the specific country links below to check the details for the areas that you feature as the rules may be different.
  
Europe and EEA Countries FCO Travel advice updates:
 
The FCO has updated the travel advice for the European and EEA countries.  

 
Entry requirements section (Passport validity) – updated information and link to HM Passport Office tool to check passport validity for travel to Europe if the UK leaves the EU with no deal
 
Entry requirements
 
Passport validity

 
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
 
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change from 29 March 2019. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.
 
Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on an adult passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.
 
You can check your passport here.
 
Austria:                 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/austria
Belgium:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/belgium
Czech Republic: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/czech-republic
Denmark:            https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/denmark
Estonia:                https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/estonia
Finland:                https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/finland
France:                 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
Germany:            https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/germany
Greece:                https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece
Hungary:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/hungary
Iceland:                https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iceland
Liechtenstein: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/liechtenstein
Italy:                      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy
Latvia:                   https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/latvia
Lithuania:            https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/lithuania
Luxembourg:     https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/luxembourg
Malta:                   https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malta
Netherlands:      https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/netherlands
Norway:               https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/norway
Poland:                 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/poland
Portugal:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal
Slovakia:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/slovakia
Slovenia:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/slovenia
Spain:                    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
Switzerland:       https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/switzerland
Sweden:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/sweden
FCO Change in level of travel : Haiti14-02-2019
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Haiti with an update to the Summary – change to advice against travel; the FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Haiti due to the current unstable and dangerous security situation.  The overall level of advice has changed.
 
The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Summary
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Haiti due to the current unstable and dangerous security situation.
 
The overall level of advice has changed and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advise against all but essential travel to Haiti
 
The full FCO travel advice for Haiti can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/haiti
 
Click here to see the ABTA legal guidance on change in FCO travel advice for a whole country

FCOTRAVEL ADVICE UPDATES : CAMEROON 12-02-2019
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Cameroon with an update to the Summary and Safety and security sections. The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Limbe in Fako division (South West region) and against all travel to North West region and the rest of South West region; the town of Garoua in North region now falls within the area where the FCO advise against all but essential travel. The overall level of advice has changed.

Safety and security section and summary – addition of information about extended general strike in the Anglophone regions.

The relevant extracts of the advice are below for your reference:
 
Summary – changes to advice to travel; the FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Limbe in Fako division (South West region) and against all travel to North West region and the rest of South West region; the town of Garoua in North region now falls within the area where the FCO advise against all but essential travel; Safety and security section and summary – addition of information about extended general strike in the Anglophone regions. 

Safety & Security
Since 4 February there has been an extended general strike imposed by armed separatists in the region. There have been reports of loss of life. Urban transport in towns and cities has been suspended, vehicular traffic in and out of the region is restricted, and incidents of sporadic gunfire have occurred. If you’re planning travel to or within areas of the Anglophone regions where the FCO advise against all or all but essential travel, you should consider carefully the risks of travel at this time, monitor developments closely, keep a low profile and minimise your movements.
 
The overall level of the advice has changed.
 
View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cameroon
 
Please click here for ABTA legal guidance on change in FCO advice for a resort or area.

FCO TRAVEL ADVICE UPDATES : EUROPE 12-02-2019
The FCO have updated the travel advice for the following countries: Italy

Italy
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Italy with an update to the Safety & Security (Road travel) section – revised information on re-registering a British-registered car in Italy. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference.

Safety & Security
Road travel
If you move to Italy with your British-registered car, you must re-register your car with Italian licence plates within 60 days or you risk your car being impounded. Be aware that from the moment you start the process of re-registering your car in Italy, until you receive your new documentation and licence plates, you will not be able to use your car.

The overall level of the advice has not changed. There are no restrictions within the advice.

View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy 

AZERBAIJAN : EMBASSY CLOSURES 08-02-2019

The Azerbaijan Embassy will be closed on the 8th, 22nd, 26th of March.

THAILAND: E-VISA STARTING 1ST APRIL 201906-02-2019
Thailand **e-visa application** Starting 1st April 2019

The Royal Thai Government is working to improve our immigration system and visa application procedure, by introducing e-visa application. 

 

UK visa applicants will be required to fill in application form and submit their documents online, then make an appointment for a visit to the Embassy. 

 

From 1 April 2019, visa applicants in the UK and Ireland have to apply online. https://thaievisa.go.th/Home/

 

Once the online form is completed you can send your application to us in the usual manner so we can lodge on your behalf but we will need to make an appointment first. The updated visa requirements will be added to our website from the 1st of April and for any more information to e-mail our visa department at visa@rossconsular.com

 

 

There will be an exemption on this to the following nationalities below who would have to make personal application only. http://www.thaiembassy.org/london/en/services/7742/84396-How-to-apply-for-visa-in-person.html

 

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Peoples Republic of China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

PASSPORT FEES: Home Office proposes changes to passport application fees07-02-2018
The ABTA Destinations team have been advised of proposed changes to UK passport application fees.
 
The relevant extract of the information is below for your reference:
 
Home Office proposes changes to passport application fees
 
The Home Office has outlined plans to introduce different passport fees for online and postal applications as part of its push to increase the use of online services.  
 
Under the plans, online applications, which are available to all UK-based applicants, will increase in line with inflation, taking the total from £72.50 to £75.50 for adults and £49 for children. Postal applications will increase by £12.50 to £85 for adults and £58.50 for children, reflecting the increased costs of processing postal applications compared to online applications.
 
The proposals, once approved by Parliament, are planned to come into force on 27 March 2018.
 
For more details see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-proposes-changes-to-passport-application-fees