U.K. Announces Visa-Free Entry For Commonwealth Countries
Commonwealth Citizens are about to benefit from the recent UK free-visa endorsement.
With the assumption of Theresa May as the new British Prime Minister, UK has announced a visa-free entry for all commonwealth citizens.
Commonwealth countries are those countries that have once served as British territories. This includes very many nations of the world. Out of the 56 member countries, 18 members are African countries. They include:
By this UK free-visa endorsement, it means that citizens of the commonwealth countries need no visas to enter the United Kingdom. The endorsement covers the commonwealth citizens for a period of 6 months.
But if you will stay for more than the stipulated time it is then still mandatory that you apply for visas to the United Kingdom. The UK free-visa endorsement does not cover commonwealth citizens beyond 6 months.
As provided under the Immigration Act 1971, Citizens of Commonwealth countries have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. In any case, the right of abode basically resides with British citizens.
Under the Immigration Act in 1982, that right has extended to commonwealth citizens; foreign nationals that were born or legally adopted in the United Kingdom; or a female Commonwealth citizen or British subject who was, or had been, married to a man with the right of abode.
According to Wikipedia, anyone who has the right of abode in the UK by way of citizenship or commonwealth citizenship enjoys these privileges:
- An unconditional right to live, work and study in the United Kingdom.
- An entitlement to use the British/EEA immigration channel at United Kingdom ports of entry.
- An entitlement to apply for United Kingdom social security and welfare benefits (although those with indefinite leave to enter may also apply).
- A right to vote and to stand for public office in the United Kingdom (since everyone with the right of abode is a Commonwealth citizen; these rights are conditional upon living in the United Kingdom).
Let’s just say that the UK free-visa endorsement affords commonwealth citizens the rights and privileges of bonafide British citizens for a period of 6 months.