Entry Clearances

House of Lords written question – answered on 26th September 2014.

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Photo of The Bishop of Chelmsford The Bishop of Chelmsford Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to review the criteria for giving visas to overseas church representatives in cases where all fares and expenses are guaranteed by a United Kingdom church body.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Applicants for visit visas are required to have adequate funds available to cover the cost of their travel to and stay in the UK, without taking employment or accessing public funds. Entry Clearance Officers take into account the individual’s income and outgoings to see whether they have enough money to fund a trip to the UK as well as having suitable accommodation. Relatives and friends can offer this support by providing evidence to demonstrate they have the financial means to support the applicant, as well as information on where the applicant will be staying in the UK.

Officials will be meeting colleagues from the Church of England soon to discuss the current process for visit visa applications for visitors. This should assist both applicants and United Kingdom church bodies when arranging visits to the UK as we want to ensure that genuine applicants who meet the requirements are able to demonstrate this sufficiently the first time.

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