Entry Clearances: Fees and Charges

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 11th May 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 85-88WS, on departmental expenditure limits, what assessment he has made to the merits of establishing reciprocal arrangements with the country of origin when visas are offered gratis to fans visiting the UK to attend sporting events; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office, Minister of State (also in the Home Office), HM Treasury

I have been asked to reply.

Gratis visas may be issued in a range of circumstances, commonly as a matter of international courtesy. This means that the visa applicant does not pay a fee for the application to be considered but another Government Department reimburses the Home Office for the lost fee income.

In May 2008 we accepted 2,169 short-term visit visa applications from fans of F.C. Zenit St Petersburg travelling to Manchester for the UEFA cup final without a fee being paid by the applicant, normally £65. This was in part in recognition of the waiver of visa requirement by the Russian Government for fans of Chelsea F.C. and Manchester United F.C. travelling to the UEFA Champions League final in Moscow later in the same month.

This was an unusual set of circumstances and no further consideration has been given to establishing permanent reciprocal arrangements with other countries.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.