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SIERRA LEONNE : EMBASSY CLOSURE 15-02-2019

Sierra Leonne Embassy will be closed on the 18th of February.

THAILAND: THE EMBASSY WILL BE CLOSED ON THE 19TH FEBRUARY 2019.15-02-2019
Thailand Embassy will be closed on Tuesday the 19th of February
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

LIBYA: TRANSLATION OF PASSPORT DETAILS NOW REQUIRED13-02-2019
The Libya Embassy now require an Arabic translation of the passport details put inside the passport for all visa application. The Embassy will provide the Arabic translation stamp in the passport for an additional fee of £20.
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

PHILIPPINES : EMBASSY CLOSURES04-02-2019
Philippines Embassy will be closed on the 5th and 25th February.
RUSSIA: CHANGES TO ENTRY REQUIREMENTS30-01-2019
The FCO has updated the travel advice for Russia with amendments to the Entry requirements (Passport validity) – You will need to obtain a visa transfer or a new visa when travelling to Russia with a new passport.  The applicable extract is as follows:


Entry requirements - Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the expiry date of your visa.
It’s not possible to enter Russia using a visa in an expired passport, even if carried with a new, valid passport. You will need to either apply for a visa transfer or for a new visa. Further details are available from the Russian Embassy.

The overall level of advice has not changed and there are restrictions in place:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts
  • Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast
  • North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area)
The full FCO travel advice for Russia can be accessed via this link https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia 

LEAVING THE EU: POSSIBLE TRAVEL IMPLICATONS30-01-2019
Further to the operational bulletin of 9th January advising the Government increased its communications about the possible implications of leaving the EU,  today 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.

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.  
 
Amendments include:
Entry requirements section (Visas) – addition of information; EU exit visa requirements

Entry requirements – Visas
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change after 29 March 2019.

The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you’re a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU. You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit.

If you’re intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.

Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.
On arrival in the Schengen Area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EEA nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.

The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.

You should check with the Austrian Embassy what type of visa, if any, you will need.

If you’re planning a stay of longer than 3 months, see our Living in Austria guide and contact the Austrian Embassy if you have further questions.
 
Austria:                 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/austria
Belgium:              https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/belgium
Bulgaria:               https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bulgaria
Czech Republic: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/czech-republic
Croatia:                https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/croatia 
Cyprus:                 https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cyprus
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
Ireland:                https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ireland
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
Romania:             https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/romania
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

Cape Verde: FCO Travel Advice Update 24-01-2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Cape Verde with an update to the Entry requirements section (Visas) – correction to existing information on maximum duration of visa-free stay in Cape Verde; from 1 January 2019, if you have a British Citizen passport you can enter Cape Verde as a visitor for stays of up to 30 days without a visa. The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Entry Requirements
Visas
From 1 January 2019, if you have a British Citizen passport you can enter Cape Verde as a visitor for stays of up to 30 days without a visa.
 
In place of a visa, before travelling you should register with the Cape Verde authorities on the EASE website and, if arriving by air, pay a new Airport Security Tax (TSA) of 3,400 escudos (approximately £30). This does not apply to visitors under 2 years of age or those who are normally resident in Cape Verde. Check with your tour operator or airline what arrangements are in place for your booking, as some tour operators and airlines may complete this on your behalf and have specific registration requirements. You can find more information on the pre-registration process and TSA in this information leaflet.
 
If you’re travelling on a different type of British passport, are travelling for a purpose other than tourism, or intending to stay longer than 90 days, you should check entry requirements with the nearest Cape Verde Embassy:

  • the Cape Verde Embassy in Brussels, Ambassade du Cap-Vert, Avenue Jeanne 29, 1050, Bruxelles Telephone: +32 2 64 36 270 Fax:+32 2 64 63 385 Email: emb.caboverde@skynet.be
  • the Cape Verde Consulate General in the Netherlands, Baan 6, Rotterdam, 3011 CB, Telephone: +31 10 477 8977 Fax: +31 10 477 4553 Email: info@conscv.nl
  • the Embassy of Cape Verde, 3, Avenue El-Hadjily MBAYE, B.P. 11.269, Dakar, Senegal Telephone:+221-3382-11873/13936 Email: acvc.sen@metissacana.sn 
    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/cape-verde
JAPAN: INTRODUCTION OF INTERNATIONAL TOURIST TAX23-01-2019
The ABTA Destinations team have been made aware of a new tourism tax that was introduced on 7 January 2019.  
 
The National Tax Agency of Japan are advising the following:
 
Starting 7 January 2019 An International Tourist Tax will be levied on travellers departing from Japan.
 
The “international tourist tax” is a scheme in which cruise lines and airlines (special tax collectors), in principle, must collect the “international tourist tax” from individuals departing from Japan (tax payers), for example by including the amount in their ticket prices. The collected payments are remitted to the Japanese Government.
 
Rate of the International Tourist Tax 1,000 yen per departure from Japan
 
Revenues from the International Tourist Tax will be allocated to the following three areas:
 
(1) Create a more comfortable, stress-free tourist environment
(2) Improve access to information about a wide variety of attractions of Japan
(3) Develop tourist resources taking advantage of the unique cultural and natural assets of respective regions
 
Who will pay the tax? Passengers leaving Japan by ship or aircraft.
 
Passengers will pay the tax to the cruise line or airline used to leave Japan. The tax may be collected by another organization, such as the travel agency you use.
 
People meeting certain conditions, such as “children under the age of 2” and “those leaving Japan on or after January 7, 2019, using an air ticket issued before January 7, 2019,” are exempted from paying the “International Tourist Tax”.
 
For details, please visit the National Tax Agency website (www.nta.go.jp) and read the Q&A.
 
For more information see https://www.nta.go.jp/english/taxes/indirect/pdf/leaflet2.pdf

UAE: Entry Requirements update23-01-2019
The FCO have updated the travel advice for the following countries: United Arab Emirates
 
United Arab Emirates
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for United Arab Emirates with an update to the Entry Requirements (Visas) section – amendments to information on 30-day visitor visas and visa extensions in-country.  The relevant extract of the advice is below for your reference:
 
Entry Requirements
Visas
If you’re travelling on a British Citizen passport, you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE. This visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days. The visa terminates automatically on departure and a new visa is issued on arrival each time the visitor returns to the UAE.
For a fee, visitors can extend their visa twice without leaving the country. Each extension is for an additional 30 days.
If you have any questions on the validity or expiry of your visa, contact UAE Immigration directly in Dubai on 04-3980000 or in Abu Dhabi on 02-4024500. If you’re residing outside the UAE, contact the nearest UAE Embassy for advice.
If you hold any other type of British nationality (eg, British Overseas Citizen or British National Overseas) you’ll need to get a visa from the nearest UAE Embassy before you arrive in the UAE.
 
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/united-arab-emirates
EMBASSY CLOSURES : UPCOMING CLOSURES 18-01-2019

China Embassy will be closed on the 04/02/19 and 05/02/2019

Taiwan Embassy will be closed on the 04/02/19 and 05/02/2019

Bangladesh Embassy will be closed on the 21/02/2019

 

Pakistan Embassy will be closed on the 05/02/2019

 

Russia Embassy will be closed on the 08/03/2019

 

Ghana Embassy will be closed on the 06/03/2019

 

India Embassy will be closed on the 21/03/2019

 

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