Guyanese can now travel to UK without a visa

Guyanese can now travel visa-free to the United Kingdom (UK) from November 09, 2022, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller announced on Tuesday.

The high commissioner made this 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.

From left – Deputy British High Commissioner to Guyana, Judy Kpogho, British High Commissioner, Jane Miller, His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali and Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry, Elisabeth Harper

The visa waiver, the high commissioner said, “is a real sign of the confidence that the UK has in the growth of our relationship.”

Together with the direct flight with British Airways that will commence by the end of March 2023, Miller said she anticipates a transformative change to the already strong relationship between Guyana and the UK.

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.

She said there will be no ‘additional screening for Guyanese’, however, persons will have to give reasons for entering the UK.

President Ali said the idea of the visitor’s visa waiver is not only about strengthening the Guyana-UK relations and expanding the economic opportunities between the two countries, but is also important for people-to-people exchange as Guyana is working to expand its tourism market. 

“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 come an important responsibility to all of us,’ the head of state said. 

He added, “We have a responsibility to safeguard these decisions because they come with hard work and they take a long time.”

To this end, President Ali said Guyana will be working closely with the UK in strengthening the systems to ensure there is proper monitoring.

Further, he stated that given the increased demand for Guyanese citizenship, the Government of Guyana is working on strengthening the structures here to ensure persons are not abusing the system.

President Ali reiterated that this move has 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.

Recently, there were exchanges between the two states in the mainstream private sector and individual private sector groups. A UK trade mission is expected to visit Guyana in mid-November.