The United Kingdom recently implemented a visa requirement for all Namibians who intend to travel there. This new requirement was implemented with immediate effect.
The aforementioned decision was made as a response to a notable increase of asylum seekers in the UK from Namibia, which according to UK officials has become a cause of concern.
The UK government announced on Wednesday that, it constitutes an abuse of the provision to visit the UK for a limited period as non-visa nationals with the changes coming into effect immediately applying to all Namibian citizens. A four week transition period until August 16 has been put in place, so all the Namibians holding confirmed tickets booked will still be able to travel to the UK without a visa. British high commissioner to Namibia, Charles Moore claimed that the significant rise of Namibian nationals at the UK border has made these new measures necessary for the UK government.
Namibian nationals will now be required to get a standard visa to travel to the UK for up to 6 months. This news comes as a shock to Namibians with intentions of seeking asylum and visiting family and friends in the UK. The Namibian government is yet to issue a response to these new visa requirements towards Namibians. A cabinet committee has been established to look into this matter according to the executive director of MIRCO, Penda Naanda. UK citizens will still be able to travel to Namibia without visas until the status quo is changed in Namibia.
As Namibians anticipate the government’s response, one would wonder if the Namibian government will scrap the free entrance of UK citizens to Namibia by issuing visa requirements. The scenario needs to be a 50/50 scenario, but concerns loom over, if the Namibian government will be unable to implement these visa requirements to UK nationals who intend to visit Namibia. There are doubts that the Namibian government will be unable to execute this, justifications such as losing tourists and investment from UK citizens may be used as a response, if these are imposed. Pressure will be on the Namibian government if they fail to act with a valid response to the UK’s visa requirements .