Closed petition Allow Serbian citizens to visit the UK for up to 90 days without a visa
We want the Government to allow citizens of Serbia to visit the UK for up to 90 days without needing a visa, the same arrangements that apply to Serbians visiting Schengen countries.
We believe current visa requirements are unnecessary, expensive, unjust and unjustified.
Since 2009, Serbia has had visa-free travel for the Schengen area, with nothing but positive outcomes. We believe the current UK visa system is unjust for tourists and those with friends and family from Serbia, all of whom bring money to the UK. We believe making it possible for Serbian citizens to visit the UK for up to 90 days without a visa is just, profitable, and long overdue.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 12 May 2023
The Government currently has no plans to change the visa requirements for Serbian nationals. The visa system is kept under regular review and plays a key part in protecting the UK’s border security.
The UK values its relationship with Serbia and welcomes Serbian nationals who visit the UK for tourism, business, or to maintain family ties.
Visit visas are an important part of securing the UK’s border and are an effective tool for the UK in reducing illegal immigration, tackling organised crime, and protecting national security. The UK keeps its visa system under regular review to ensure it continues to work in the national interest. Decisions on changes are always made in the round and following extensive engagement across government. Any decision will consider a range of factors, which will vary globally, but often include security, immigration compliance, and prosperity.
All visitors to the UK, including Serbian nationals, are assessed against the published Immigration Rules. The same Immigration Rules for entry apply to visa nationals, who must obtain a visa in advance of travel to the UK, and non-visa nationals, who seek leave to enter as a visitor at the border. The difference is where this assessment takes place. A visa regime allows us to intervene and, if necessary, refuse a visa before an individual travels to the UK.
Visitors are permitted to come to the UK for up to six months. All visitors must intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit, must not intend to live in the UK through frequent or successive visits, and must intend to undertake one of the permitted activities for visitors. Visitors must also be able to support and maintain themselves during their visit without accessing public funds. This is set out in Appendix V: Visitor of the Immigration Rules, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor.
Details of how to access a UK Visa Application Centre in Serbia can be found here: https://pos.tlscontact.com/beg_en/.
The fee for a Standard Visitor visa, which is set at £100, is the same charged to all nationals who require a visa to enter the UK. It is right that those who use and benefit directly from the Migration and Borders system should contribute towards the cost of operating the system.
Through the Future Borders and Immigration System (FBIS) programme, we are delivering a streamlined, simplified, and modern visa system that meets the needs of the Home Office and its users.
Increasingly, we are replacing physical and paper-based products and services with accessible, easy to use online and digital services. This provides applicants with an easy online application process, including enabling some applicants to provide biometrics and establish or verify their identity using their smartphones.
The transition towards eVisas is already underway with millions of users already receiving digital evidence of their immigration permission and using this to enter and live in the UK. By 2025, we aim to transition to a fully digital end-to-end system for individuals interacting with the immigration system.
We are also creating clearer, accessible guidance and content on GOV.UK and have made it simpler and more intuitive for people to understand if they are eligible for a visa, what steps they need to take to apply and, if granted, the conditions of their stay in the UK.