From November 09, 2022, Guyanese nationals can now travel visa-free to the United Kingdom (UK).
British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller made the announcement at a press conference at her residence alongside His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali.
“Today is a historic day for the Guyana-UK relation, and I am delighted to inform you that those with a valid Guyanese passport can visit the UK visa-free,” she said.
Miller added that she anticipates a transformative change between the two countries.
“This visa lift is a real sign of the confidence the UK 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 is going to be transformative to our already strong relationship,”
The visa-free travel caters for persons visiting the UK for up to six months. However, those seeking long-term stay for more than 180 days or want to work or study in the UK will still require visas.
Meanwhile, President Irfaan Ali urged everyone not to abuse the system.
“Today, I am very pleased that Guyanese can travel with greater ease to the UK. However, I want to say to all Guyanese that with these waivers comes to an important responsibility for all of us. We are responsible for safeguarding these important decisions because it comes with hard work. It takes a long time, and we will be working very closely with the UK in strengthening our systems to ensure that there is proper monitoring and to ensure there is no abuse of the system.”
Ali said the authorities would be working closely with the UK to strengthen the systems to ensure proper monitoring. Locally, the government will ramp up screening, noting that the country’s economic prospects seem to be attracting scores of businesses and families to local shores showing interest in Guyanese citizenship.
President Ali also reiterated that this move had positioned Guyana in several areas, as it not only strengthens Guyana’s case for visa waivers from other developed states.
“The UK is part of the developed world, and you can’t tell us that you have security concerns beyond a certain level that the UK does not have,” he asserted.
Guyana is UK’s largest trading partner in the Caribbean. Trade between the two nations in 2021 amounted to 516 million pounds and accounted for 21.6 per cent of all the UK’s trade with the Caribbean.