Visas: Gaza

Home Office written question – answered at on 6 March 2024.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the barriers to people in Gaza who are seeking to join their family members in the UK reaching their closest visa application centre in Egypt.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)

Immediate family members of British citizens, individuals with protection status, and those settled in the UK, who wish to come and live in the UK and do not have a current UK visa, can apply under one of the existing Family visa routes.

The Home Office is working closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in supporting family members of British nationals evacuated from Gaza who require a visa, signposting the necessary steps and expediting appointments at the Visa Application Centre (VAC). VACs in the region, such as Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, are open and offering a full service.

In the vast majority of circumstances, the UK requires biometrics to be taken as part of an application; this is vital so we can conduct checks on the person’s identity and suitability to come to the UK. Biometrics, in the form of fingerprints and facial images, underpin the current UK immigration system to support identity assurance and suitability checks on foreign nationals who are subject to immigration control.

Applicants who are at risk of embarking on an unsafe journey must provide evidence they need to make an urgent journey to a VAC that would be particularly unsafe for them, and they cannot delay their journey until later or use alternative routes.

When considering a pre-determination or an excusal of the requirement for an applicant to enrol their biometrics request under the Unsafe Journey’s policy, decision-makers must refer to the Biometric Enrolment and the Unsafe Journey’s guidance.

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