Our response to the Home Secretary's decision to make those from Syria, Libya and Egypt apply for transit visas for UK.

Man holding a paper and getting advice c. Jenny Wicks
Visa requirement mean those suffering persecution are unable to cross our borders and find safety.

Last week Home Secretary Teresa May announced that people from Syria, Libya and Egypt will have to apply for a transit visa if they are travelling to the UK or through UK airports, under the Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) regime. The government claims this a proportionate response to protect the security of our borders.

In response, John Wilkes, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council, said:

Pulling up the draw bridge in this way will effectively mean that people who are fleeing horrific violence, war and brutal religious or ethnic persecution in Syria and other Arab Spring countries, are unable to cross our borders and find safety.

“Last week Amnesty International launched a report which highlighted the “nightmarish world of systemic torture” that waves of Syrians have found themselves caught up in. In light of the well-evidenced facts around the Syrian situation, this latest announcement from the Government seems far from proportionate.

“Of course, it is important that our borders remain secure. However it is essential that our immigration policy has an inbuilt flexibility to allow safe passage across borders to those in dire need of protection.”