On 8 September, an amendment to the Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014 went into effect, adding Georgia and Russia to the list of countries or territories whose nationals need transit visas in order to pass through the United Kingdom without entering while transiting to another country, APA reports citing Newland Chase visa services company.
This order does not apply to Georgian or Russian nationals transiting through the UK who arrive in the UK on or before 5 October 2023, and before the date this order comes into force (Friday, 8 September) already held a booking for that journey.
It was noted that normally, a statutory instrument comes into force no earlier than 21 days after it is put before Parliament. The reason why this order came into force a only day after being put before Parliament is due to serious concerns that there would be a substantial increase in Georgian and Russian nationals travelling to the UK and potentially claiming asylum on arrival, before the new amendment came into force.
According to Newland Chase, since 2018, Georgian and Russian nationals have consistently ranked top in the nationalities abusing the UK’s transit provisions to claim asylum. The Home Office believe requiring these nationals to obtain a transit visa before visiting the UK would prevent these nationals from travelling to the UK on the pretence of transiting and then claiming asylum on arrival.